BUFFALO, NY-- Two associates of political operative Steve Pigeon have pleaded guilty in connection to their involvement with the Western New York Progressive Caucus during the 2013 Democratic Primary in Erie County.
According to the New York State Attorney General's office, Kristy Mazurek, 47, and David Pfaff, 59, admitted to knowingly and willfully attempting to engage in illegal campaign coordination while acting on behalf of the caucus, which was unauthorized.
Campaign coordination is a crime under the Election Law.
Investigators say Mazurek and Pfaff sought input from an Erie County Legislature candidate regarding a photo shoot and used funds from the caucus to pay expenses on behalf of the candidate that exceeded the $1,476.50 contribution limit of that race by over $16,500.
“As we detailed, the defendants illegally coordinated with their chosen candidates, using their political committee to skirt the law,” said Attorney General Barbara Underwood in a released statement. “New Yorkers deserve to trust the integrity of our elections. We’ll continue to enforce New York’s election and campaign finance laws — and hold accountable anyone who breaks them.”
As part of their plea Mazurek and Pfaff were each sentenced to a one-year conditional discharge.
Steve Pigeon pleaded guilty in September to a state charge of bribery. As part of his plea, Pigeon's sentence will not exceed a misdemeanor and all other state charges against him are being dropped.
Pigeon, a long-time political power broker, was charged along with State Supreme Court Judge John Michalek. The two were allegedly engaged in favor swapping. Michalek, who pleaded guilty to state charges, sought Pigeon's help getting jobs for family members. Emails obtained by investigators also indicated the judge wanted Pigeon to put in a good word with Governor Andrew Cuomo about a nomination to be an Appellate Court judge.