The Erie County Department of Social Services commissioner has stepped down at the request of the county executive after being named a person of interest in what is being called an “alleged serious incident” earlier this month.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says Al Dirschberger tendered his resignation Thursday afternoon after the county learned this past weekend of an incident involving a female employee during a conference in Albany on December 5 or 6.
He says when he learned of a police investigation about the matter and the details of the complaint, he immediately contacted Dirschberger and requested his resignation.
Dirschberger has not been charged with any crime, and Poloncarz would not elaborate on what exactly Dirscherger is accused of.
Poloncarz did say that he still felt his resignation was necessary.
"Regardless of whatever criminal investigation is occurring, his conduct warranted removal of his post. Due to the unique nature of the social services commissioner be appointed to a specific term and not serving at my pleasure, I could not terminate him at my will, therefore I requested his resignation, which he did provide. My administration demands the highest standards of our appointed leadership, and based on the conduct I believe occurred, Mr. Dirschberger was asked to resign and he did resign," said Poloncarz.
Marie Cannon, who served as first deputy of the Social Services Department, takes the post of acting commissioner.
The search for a permanent replacement will begin in early 2018.