Buffalo, N.Y. - Ever since he was elected in November to fill out the last year of Mark Poloncarz's term as Erie County Comptroller, Stefan Mychajliw has portrayed himself as someone who was going to be above politics when it came to who he hired for his office.
"I want to hire the best and brightest regardless of their political party," Mychajliw said when he was sworn in.
And in interviews with 2 On Your Side, he told us that again and again.
Here's what he said in December, "We're wrapping up our interviews for the position of Deputy Comptroller for Audit and the candidates we're looking at are all from the private sector with no political connections."
Mychajliw kept his promise of hiring non-political, people with strong financial backgrounds for three of the four top jobs in his office.
The same can't be said for the person he's hired as his Chief of Staff, he's a young Republican political operative and lawyer named Jeff Bochiechio.
According to Bochiechio's resume and LinkedIn page, he began his career working for former Republican congressman Tom Reynolds, he was former County Executive Chris Collins chief fundraiser for three years, he says he ran Jane Corwin's 2008 campaign for state assembly, and had a patronage position in Buffalo with Republicans in the state senate.
In defending his hiring of Boccheicio, Mychajliw points to the fact he's a lawyer.
Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw: "My predecessors have hired a public relations person for that position of chief of staff where I have hired a public sector attorney with municipal experience and extensive experience e and state and local finance law and tax law and IDA law."
Scott Brown: "You say extensive experience, he worked for less than a year at a local law firm, he's fresh out of law school where is his extensive experience?"
Stefan Mychajliw: "In the same respect that Mark Poloncarz was a private sector attorney and served in the office of Erie County comptroller."
Scott Brown: "Given that you have no background in finance and you've been very up front about that would it be smart to have all of your top four people to be CPAs to have a background in auditing, or have a background in finance?"
Stefan Mychajliw: "That's exactly what we did."
Scott Brown: "He (Bochiechio) has no background in auditing, accounting or anything like that."
Stefan Mychajliw: "In the same respect that Alfreda Slominski the duly elected comptroller of Erie county was considered the gold standard she told me point blank I had no accounting courses in my entire life but you know what she hired the best and brightest and I did too."
Scott Brown: "Most of his (Bochiechio's) background in politics is as a fundraiser, will you used him to raise money for your campaign?"
Stefan Mychajliw: "Certainly an option, I want to hired the best and brightest for this office and I also want to make sure that I have the best and brightest and most competent people when it comes to running for re-election this year."
Bochiechio's position has a starting salary of $62,000 a year.
Last November, Mychajliw was elected to fill out the last year of Mark Poloncarz's term as comptroller.
Mychajliw is running for a full four year term this year.