A look back at Hoyt's career in government

Hoyt Leaves Job Amid Harassment Investigation

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- We have new information about the circumstances surrounding Sam Hoyt's departure from Empire State Development.

Tuesday, the Governor's office revealed Hoyt is facing sexual harassment allegations.

Sam Hoyt worked as a regional president for Empire State Development for six years. ESD is the state's economic development agency and Hoyt was the face of it in Western New York. He appeared in countless stories over the years speaking on the state's behalf. It was a high-profile job, but Monday, ESD issued a statement saying Hoyt was leaving his position, and it didn't give a reason.

From 1992 until 2011, when he resigned to take the ESD job, Hoyt represented a large part of Buffalo and Grand Island in the State Assembly.

In 2008, the Assembly Ethics Committee found Hoyt had an inappropriate personal relationship with an intern, and it banned Hoyt from participating in any Assembly internship or student mentoring programs.

In 2008, Hoyt said "I accept the committee's findings and once again apologize to my family and the people of the 144th Assembly District. I look forward to putting the matter behind me."

On Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo's office said Hoyt left his job at Empire State Development during a sexual harassment investigation.

Hoyt's attorney, Terry Connors, sent 2 On Your Side a statement from Hoyt Tuesday afternoon. In it Hoyt says, "I have made many mistakes in my life. Having a short term, consensual and inappropriate relationship with (the woman) was wrong and something I regret. When I attempted to end the relationship, she threatened me. At that point, over a year ago, my wife and I agreed to a settlement to avoid public embarrassment to our family."

In the statement, Hoyt names the woman. We are choosing not to name her at this point.

She did tell us that she signed a non-disclosure agreement as part of the settlement.

2 On Your Side asked local attorney Barry Covert to explain how that will impact this situation.

"Really, non-disclosure agreements, which can be in a lot of different forms, are really meant to end it. Here, we're going to give you some level of compensation, whether it's money, whether it's a job, whether whatever the consideration is. And, you are not going to discuss any of this, including the initial allegations, or how we settled it," says Covert. “He appears to have left his state job, and as far as we know his benefits have all been paid out, so I don't think the state is going to pick up on any investigation. So, I really don't know that there's going to be any on-going problem or litigation between the two of them."

Covert says traditionally the people who sign a non-disclosure agreement won't talk about the settlement or any information that led to the settlement.

© 2017 WGRZ-TV


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