County Leaders Target Deadbeat Parents

Sheriff’s Office Conducts Child Support Sweep as Comptroller Audits Process 
Buffalo, NY – Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard and Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw announce in a joint release the results of a Family Court Warrant Sweep and County audit of the Family Court Warrant Unit. 
On October 19, the Sheriff’s Family Court Warrant Enforcement Unit completed its 15th annual operation during the Annual National Family Violence Apprehension Detail and Family Court Warrant Sweep.  Members of the family court warrant unit, the Civil Enforcement Division, and patrol Deputies all participated in the sweep and searched the City of Buffalo and Erie County for individuals wanted on active Family Court warrants including parents who fail to pay child support.  
The Sheriff’s Office took part in the annual National Family Violence Apprehension Sweep along with over 400 other law enforcement agencies across the country.  Although the operation is conducted in one day, the preparation for the raids requires weeks of work.  Arrested were:
·         53-year-old Daniel Sokolofsky from Kenmore on a Family Court warrant.
·         41-year-old Kevin L. Williams from Buffalo on a Family Court warrant.
·         62-year-old Anthony Ross from Buffalo on a Family Court warrant.
·         24-year-old Xavier Boney from Buffalo on a Family Court warrant.
·         42-year-old Andrew R. Walter, Sr. from Angola on a Family Court warrant.
·         40-year-old Luis A. Pirela from Buffalo on a Family Court warrant.
In addition to the six individuals, the Sheriff’s Office made contact with three other warrant subjects, but their warrants have been rescinded in the past few days, and one subject is in custody at a separate facility, and they will be processed upon their release.  These individuals owe thousands of dollars in back child support payments.
Sheriff Howard explains, “Although my Family Court Warrant Unit is active throughout the year, these sweeps concentrate on some of our worst offenders to bring them in
front of the courts and ensure the individual is living up to his or her responsibility to their children.  These operations help the families and the taxpayers by bringing deadbeat dads and moms to justice.”
Following the guidance of the county-wide risk assessment, the Sheriff’s Office is now more frequently audited by the Erie County Comptroller.  The most recent audit, being released today, focused on the Sheriff’s Office with regard to their policies and procedures regarding child support summonses and family court warrants.  The purpose of the audit was to determine the adequacy of the policies and procedures used by the Sheriff’s Office to hold parents accountable for their obligations to their children.  
“Deadbeat parents need to be held accountable. Children and mostly single moms suffer when parents do not honor their court ordered obligations to support their family. It is an honor to work with the Sheriff to ensure children are properly taken care of. We are sending a clear message to deadbeats that stiff their families: we will find you. And you will pay. One way or another, you will assuredly pay,” said Comptroller Mychajliw.  “Yesterday’s raid is the culmination of the process we audited.  The Sheriff’s Office gets top marks for their controls and procedures regarding serving these warrants and today’s results are proof they are working,” said Mychajliw.  
As a result of the audit, the Comptroller’s Office determined that the controls used to serve summonses and warrants were indeed adequate, offering suggestions to modify policies and procedures to continue to have adequate controls in the future.
“I’m happy to be part of something like this.  We are following the guidance of our risk assessment and ensuring processes within the Sheriff’s Office are conducted properly, and in this case, the check and balance we provided helps children by holding deadbeat parents accountable to their responsibilities.  Today was a win-win for taxpayers and children who need our help,” concluded Mychajliw.
Sheriff Howard’s Office conducts multiple sweeps each year as well as maintaining an active Family Courts Warrant Unit throughout the year.