WNY political operatives face felony charges

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The former chairman of the Erie County Democratic Party and two of his associates were each arraigned on four felony charges Wednesday, accused of violating state election law.

Steve Pigeon, the longtime political operative who already pleaded not guilty to unrelated bribery charges in a case that continues, pleaded not guilty, along with his co-defendants Kristy Mazurek and David Pfaff.

They ran the WNY Progressive Caucus, a campaign committee unaffiliated with any candidate. Prosecutors say the committee spend thousands of dollars over the legal limits to help elect three hand-picked candidates in the 2013 primary.

They're also accused of illegally coordinating with candidates and filing false reports.

If convicted of the four felonies, each would face up to 4 years in prison.

READ THE FULL CRIMINAL COMPLAINT BY CLICKING HERE

The case is being prosecuted by the office of New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

"As alleged, the defendants' use of a political committee to circumvent the law and undermine the integrity of these elections was an affront to Erie County voters – and we intend to hold them accountable," Schneiderman said in a statement.

Joel Daniels is the defense attorney for Mazurek. He seemed to speak for all three defendants.

"We are confident, all of us, that this matter will be resolved favorably with all the defendants," Daniels said after today's arraignments.

© 2017 WGRZ-TV


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