Pi­geon ar­raigned for 3rd time on elec­tion law charges

The Buffalo News - - LOCAL NEWS - By Robert J. McCarthy NEWS STAFF RE­PORTER

Court ap­pear­ances are be­com­ing rou­tine for G. Steven Pi­geon and his as­so­ciates.

The for­mer Erie County Demo­cratic Com­mit­tee chair­man faced his third ar­raign­ment in ap­prox­i­mately 18 months Thurs­day dur­ing a County Hall ap­pear­ance. The lat­est felony elec­tion law charge stemmed from Fri­day’s in­dict­ment by a spe­cial grand jury con­vened in Buffalo by At­tor­ney Gen­eral Eric T. Sch­nei­der­man.

“That’s cor­rect, your honor, not guilty,” Pi­geon told act­ing State Supreme Court Jus­tice Don­ald F. Ce­rio Jr. when asked his plea.

Pi­geon was joined by a long-time po­lit­i­cal as­so­ciate David B. Pfaff who pleaded “not guilty - ab­so­lutely” when asked the same ques­tion. An­other de­fen­dant, Kristy L. Mazurek, did not ap­pear be­cause of med­i­cal rea­sons but will re­main a de­fen­dant in the case.

Pfaff and Mazurek face the same charges as Pi­geon, cen­ter­ing on the state’s con­tention that they con­trolled an in­de­pen­dent po­lit­i­cal com­mit­tee that il­le­gally co­or­di­nated with an­tiDemo­cratic Com­mit­tee can­di­dates in the 2013 Demo­cratic pri­mary for County Leg­is­la­ture.

In June 2016, Pi­geon was in­dicted by an­other grand jury on bribery and lar­ceny charges for al­legedly help­ing two rel­a­tives of for­mer State Supreme Court Jus­tice John A. Michalek find jobs. The state al­leges that, in re­turn, the judge as­signed a lu­cra­tive court case to an at­tor­ney friend of Pi­geon’s, among other ac­tions.

Michalek re­signed his job and pleaded guilty to bribery charges while agree­ing to be­come a state wit­ness against Pi­geon.

Pi­geon also faces fed­eral charges in a felony in­dict­ment re­turned in Oc­to­ber that fo­cuses on many of the state al­le­ga­tions.

The for­mer chair­man has de­nied all of the charges brought against him and has la­beled them po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated.

Mark Mul­ville/Buffalo News

Steve Pi­geon stands with his at­tor­ney Justin Gin­ter be­fore Hon. Don­ald F. Ce­rio, Jr. on his lat­est felony charge in State Supreme Court in Buffalo

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