Saturday, June 26, 2010

KRUGERGATE



We welcome 'KRUGERGATE" to our ever grow family of "GATES" the real kind not the food kind


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Brooklyn Senator a Focus of Federal Corruption Inquiry

New York Times - Danny Hakim - William K. Rashbaum -


Federal investigators are examining whether Senator Carl Kruger, one of the State Legislature’s most powerful members, sought campaign contributions in exchange for political favors, according to court filings and people briefed on the case.


Mr. Kruger, a Democrat from Brooklyn who has amassed the Senate’s largest campaign account, declined to comment on the investigation.

But a Senate Democratic spokesman confirmed Friday that the F.B.I. and the United States attorney’s office in Brooklyn were reviewing allegations that Mr. Kruger helped businessmen with bureaucratic hurdles, with the expectation that they would hold fund-raisers for him.

One of Mr. Kruger’s campaign donors, Michael Levitis, who is suspected of serving as an intermediary between the senator and those seeking favors, has been arrested in the case and accused of lying to investigators.

In court filings, Mr. Levitis is described as soliciting payments from a confidential informant who posed as a businessman looking for help with an inspection.

Mr. Levitis, 32, is a personal-injury lawyer whose family owns the Rasputin nightclub on Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn.

In transcripts of recorded conversations with the confidential informant, Mr. Levitis solicits a $3,000 payment, saying he will pass on $2,000 to an aide to Mr. Kruger, Jason Koppel, and keep the rest.

Mr. Levitis also tells the informant that he might have to hold a fund-raiser for Mr. Kruger, and they talk extensively about it, repeating the word “fund-raiser” in English during conversations that otherwise are almost entirely in Russian.

After federal investigators confronted Mr. Levitis, he denied discussing a fund-raiser and misstated the nature of payments he received from the informant, according to court papers.

Neither Mr. Kruger nor Mr. Koppel is identified by name in court filings, but Austin Shafran, a spokesman for the Senate Democrats, acknowledged their identities. Mr. Shafran suggested that Mr. Kruger was the “victim of an influence-peddling scam” by Mr. Levitis.

“Sometimes unscrupulous individuals falsely claim a close relationship to public officials which simply does not exist,” Mr. Shafran said. “Senator Kruger will fully cooperate with the authorities’ investigation into the fraudulent statements made by Mr. Levitis and hopes he is brought to justice swiftly and decisively.”

Benjamin Brafman, a lawyer for Mr. Kruger, said by e-mail that Mr. Levitis never spoke to Mr. Kruger and was invoking the senator’s name without his authorization.

“Senator Kruger is not now and never has been the target of this investigation,” Mr. Brafman said. “It is very clear that Levitis was playing the role of a big shot who claimed to have access to public officials.”

One law enforcement official declined to say whether Mr. Kruger was a target of the probe, which began in 2008, but said: “There is an investigation, and he is in it.”

MORE

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State Senator Denies He's Target of Corruption Investigation

NBC New York - Alice Mcquillan -

State Senator Carl Kruger, chairman of the finance committee, is instead a "victim," according to his spokesman. Senator Kruger's name surfaced after a bail ...


Sen. Kruger Denies Links to Corruption

Brooklyn Daily Eagle - Raanan Geberer -

Carl Kruger (D-Brooklyn) on Friday denied allegations linking him to corruption. According to a Daily News article on Friday, the FBI and Brooklyn federal ...


It Was a Big Day for Allegedly Corrupt New York Politicians

New York Magazine -

Yesterday, it was revealed that the FBI has, for two years, been looking into whether Brooklyn State Senator Carl Kruger traded official favors for campaign ..


Pol eyed in bribe scandal

New York Post - Janon Fisher - Rich Calder -

Carl Kruger, who represents portions of southern Brooklyn, sources said. Michael Levitis, the alleged middleman, is the owner of a notorious Brooklyn ...


Investigation of Brooklyn state Sen. Carl Kruger revealed after ...

New York Daily News - John Marzulli - Barbara Ross -

Carl Kruger is the subject of an FBI corruption probe, sources and court papers revealed Thursday. The FBI and Brooklyn federal prosecutors are looking into ...

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I wonder were this one will lead ?



Before there was the “Oracle at Delphi” there was Count Vampire J. Machiavelli


VJ Machiavelli

www.vjmachiavelli.blogspot.com

No More Schumer, Pelosi, Rangel, Engel

"After Four Years of Scandals it is time for the Lazio Team"


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

HAGGERTYGATE THE SCANDAL THAT KEEPS ON GIVING


Bloomberg's Million-Dollar Ripoff

Village Voice - Tom Robbins -

published: June 22, 2010

Michael Bloomberg never once complained about the million-plus dollars that District Attorney Cy Vance says was plucked from the mayor's pocket during last year's election. He gets outright nasty when asked about it: "I'm sorry that my English isn't good enough for you," barked the mayor when reporters pressed him last week about how this crime occurred.


Previously, the only robbery victims known to clam up and get all defensive like this were drug dealers and mobsters, who understandably don't gripe about the loss of ill-gotten gains. We now add to this category mega-millionaire politicians whose campaigns are cloaked in secrecy and who would rather take a seven-figure hit than suffer the spotlight of a criminal inquiry.


Right now, the man accused of conning the mayor out of $1.1 million is also keeping mum. The only public comment so far from John Haggerty Jr., a second-generation Republican political power, was at his arraignment on grand larceny charges. "Not guilty," he said.


If he could safely do so, Haggerty would have a great many interesting things to say. It may be true, as Vance's indictment alleges, that he misled Bloomberg's campaign into believing that he would field an army of poll watchers. It may also be true that his goal in this scheme, as also alleged, was to get the money he needed to buy out his siblings' interest in the graceful brick home in Forest Hills that belonged to their late father, Jack Haggerty, the former leader of the Queens Republican party.


But it's also true that, right up to that fateful election day, John Haggerty Jr. had worked his heart out for the Bloomberg cause with no apparent payment by the most generous political candidate in municipal history. Other top officials of Team Bloomberg scored the biggest paydays of their lives. Haggerty worked for free—at least as far as filings show. Yet his tasks were just as crucial, if not more so. He played the leading role in persuading five cranky Republican county leaders to get over their hurt feelings and give Bloomberg their nomination, even though the mayor had jilted them two years earlier by quitting their party. Take a look at those photos of

Bloomberg's pre-nomination meetings in which he pleaded with GOP officials to let bygones be bygones. There's John Haggerty, quietly at his side.


Without the GOP nod, Bloomberg would've been forced to slog it out as a third-party candidate against an African-American Democrat on his left and a Republican spoiler on his right. We know how that would have turned out: Even with the GOP in line, Bloomberg managed only a 4 percent win, despite spending more than $108 million. We'd be talking today about Mayor William C. Thompson. That seems like reason enough to want to throw Haggerty a million bucks worth of thank-yous.


"John was responsible for the mayor's election," says Tom Ognibene, the former Queens Republican Councilmember. "Without the Republican line, he was not getting re-elected."

Ognibene is now running for lieutenant governor with millionaire Carl Paladino, for whom Haggerty is handling a Republican petition drive. But the men were once antagonists. Back in 2005, Ognibene angrily denounced Bloomberg's Republican bona fides, and tried to mount a primary challenge against the mayor. Haggerty was one of those who helped Bloomberg knock him off the ballot. "He was in the Board of Elections, day in and day out, scrutinizing my filings," says Ognibene.


Again, there were no disclosed payments from Bloomberg's campaign to Haggerty. But Ognibene says he was told at the time by Robert Muir, one of Bloomberg's election lawyers, that he was paying Haggerty out of his own contract with the campaign.


MORE

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The Knaves of Albany

NBC New York - Gabe Pressman -

Among the matters that should be on the voters' agenda is the indictment of Republican operative John Haggerty for taking 1.1 million dollars of the Mayor's ...

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Haggertygate, where will it finally lead ?


Before there was the “Oracle at Delphi” there was Count Vampire J. Machiavelli


VJ Machiavelli

No More Schumer, Pelosi, Rangel, Engel

"After Four Years of Scandals it is time for the Lazio Team"









Sunday, June 20, 2010

MEET FLOWERSGATE


Behind every great "Scandal" there is a .............


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This woman is trouble

New York Post - Isabel Vincent - Melissa Klein -



She is the Zelig of Queens political scandals.


Lawyer and Democratic political operative Joan Flowers keeps popping up in misdeeds tied to Queens politicians and community leaders.


Flowers, already under federal scrutiny for her role in a shady Queens charity, represented the Rev. Floyd Flake and others in a deal to turn a nonprofit housing development owned by Flake's church into a for-profit venture, according to recent reports. Questions have been raised about the structure of the deal, and Flake's take.


Flowers filed paperwork in the deal in 2006 with then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. At the same time, she worked as a consultant to his successful campaign for governor.


Flowers has long been tied to, and done work for, prominent Democratic politicians, including Gov. Paterson, US Rep. Gregory Meeks and state Sen. Malcolm Smith.

A party activist described her as "an earnest, decent person that a lot of people have trusted over the years."


But he said she was often too eager to please and that "it hasn't served her well."

"I think that she's been coerced into doing questionable things by her so-called friends because she's such a nice person," he said.


Flowers, 62, a Jamaican immigrant, went to law school as an adult earning a degree from St. John's University in 1988.


In 1990, she teamed up with developer Darryl Greene, forming a company called Greene and Flowers.


The venture was described in 1994 by one of its partners, then-Assemblyman Clarence Norman Jr., as a commercial law firm and consultant. Norman was convicted in 2005 of falsifying business records and violating state election law and sent to prison.


Read more:

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Ex-Rep. Floyd Flake, Cronies Get More Media Scrutiny

National Legal and Policy Center - Peter Flaherty - ‎Jun 19, 2010‎

Rev. Floyd Flake, a former member of Congress, is a political force in Queens where he is the pastor of a 23000-member church. His protégés include US Rep. ...

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We the "FEDS" expose it all before election day or after ?


Before there was the “Oracle at Delphi” there was Count Vampire J. Machiavelli


VJ Machiavelli

No More Schumer, Pelosi, Rangel, Engel

"After Four Years of Scandals it is time for the Lazio Team"





KEEPING UP WITH PIGEONGATE

Lets not forget PIGEONGATE they too have been in the news, and I am sure there will be a lot more in the days and weeks to come.

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Morning Read: Dirty Money

New York Observer - Reid Pillifant -

Andrew Cuomo said questions about why he didn't investigate Steve Pigeon are "silly." The Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting nixed a Jay-Z ...


Cuomo brushes aside Lazio's claims

Buffalo News - Robert J. McCarthy -

Lazio added that the alleged perpetrator — former Erie County Democratic Chairman G. Steven Pigeon — was not pursued because he holds significant influence ...



Pigeon issue gains traction in campaigns

Buffalo News - Robert J. McCarthy -

Democratic operative G. Steven Pigeon's role in local politics catapulted into two statewide campaigns Tuesday after Gov. ...

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Before there was the “Oracle at Delphi” there was Count Vampire J. Machiavelli


VJ Machiavelli

No More Schumer, Pelosi, Rangel, Engel

"After Four Years of Scandals it is time for the Lazio Team"



KEEPING UP WITH HAGGERTYGATE

It seems you just can't keep HAGGERTTGATE out of the news, and I am sure there will be a lot more things are just beginning to get interesting with all the subplots and lets not forget he is now working for The Knight in Shinning Money Carl Paladino who also has picked Tom Obigene as his running mate.
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New Carl Paladino E-mails Leaked!

The Spoof (satire) - Rick Andrew Carl -

They include revealing messages between campaign manager Michael Caputo and two political operatives, Roger Stone and John Haggerty. ...


Independ-'ain't'

New York Post -

Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. is investigating how a political operative who's close to the two men, John Haggerty Jr., allegedly managed to pocket nearly $1 ...


State Independence Party backs Doheny

WatertownDailyTimes.com - Jude Seymour -

Republican operative John Haggerty was indicted last week on charges that he took a large part of a $1.1 million donation from New York City Mayor Michael ...


Probe of Mayor Bloomberg's election aid full of intrigue for DA Cy ...

New York Daily News - Adam Lisberg -

John Haggerty was charged with stealing $1.1 million of Bloomberg's money by planning an Election Day poll-watching effort but never actually doing it. ...


GOP pol indictment is bunk

Daily Caller - Roscoe Conkling -

The indictment of John Haggerty Jr. by the Manhattan District Attorney is a political ... John Haggerty maybe a stoic but he is known among Republicans and ...


Haggerty indicted by Manhattan DA

Queens Chronicle - Michael Cusenza -

According to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., John Haggerty Jr., a volunteer with the Bloomberg campaign, pilfered $1.1 million by telling ..


Haggerty charged with theft

YourNabe.com - Howard Koplowitz -

High-profile Queens Republican campaign operative John Haggerty Jr. was indicted Monday by a Manhattan grand jury for allegedly stealing ...


Political Page

Western Queens Gazette -

In recent years, John Haggerty's name and his brother's had surfaced among those who were insurgents at odds with the entrenched powers in the organization, ...


Elex board to probe Indies' $$

New York Post - David Seifman -

... state Independence Party to determine if it tried to hide $133000 it forwarded to indicted political operative John Haggerty, officials said yesterday. ...


Manhattan DA Cy Vance goes after embattled state Independence ...

New York Daily News - Celeste Katz - Adam Lisberg -

The Independence Party is a key player in Vance's probe into Queens Republican operative John Haggerty, who was indicted Monday on charges he stole more ...


United States. Bloomberg aide changed with theft

Ottawa Citizen -

John Haggerty promised to organize an election day "poll-watching" operation to prevent vote fraud. Instead, he allegedly used the money to buy out his ...


Adviser allegedly robbed mayor's coffers

UPI.com -

Manhattaan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said the consultant, John F. Haggerty, 41, spent $32000 on Bloomberg's behalf but kept approximately $750000 ...


Bloomberg and the Not-So-Independent Independence Party

NBC New York - Gabe Pressman -

Bloomberg was asked about his contributions to the Independence Party, which allegedly funneled Bloomberg's money to a company Haggerty established, ...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

HANK MORIS SAYS THATS THE WAY WE DO BUSINESS IN ALBANY

Hank Morris the "BRAINS" behind "PENSIONGATE" , Alan Hevesi, and "King" Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Schumer says ....
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Hevesi Ex-Aide Cited by Cuomo

Wall Street Journal - Chad Bray -

By CHAD BRAY

A one-time top political adviser to former New York Comptroller Alan Hevesi used his access to the state's largest pension fund to improperly line his own pockets with $19 million in fees, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's office said Monday.

In court papers, Mr. Cuomo's office argued that criminal charges should be allowed to proceed against Henry "Hank" Morris, saying his conduct was fraudulent and shouldn't be excused because of a perception that "everybody does it."

A lawyer for Mr. Morris argued in court papers in March that no crime was committed and the public shouldn't be shocked that politically connected persons enjoy "readier access" to decision makers in the government.

"The fact that fraud and corruption may be rampant does not cloak wrongdoers with impunity," Special Deputy Attorney General Ellen Nachtigall Biben said in the filing Monday.

(More)

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NY AG: 'Everyone does it' not a fraud defense

The Associated Press - Colleen Long - ‎Jun 14, 2010‎

NEW YORK — Just because "everybody does it" in Albany doesn't mean corruption is legal, New York's attorney general said in court papers Monday, ...


Ex-Hevesi aide led $35 million fraud scheme: Cuomo

Reuters - ‎Jun 14, 2010‎

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo accused an indicted top aide to former state comptroller Alan Hevesi of running a $35 million ...


Ex-Hevesi Adviser Got $19 Million in Fees, Cuomo Says

BusinessWeek - Karen Freifeld - ‎Jun 14, 2010‎

June 14 (Bloomberg) -- The indicted chief political adviser to ex-New York state Comptroller Alan Hevesi pushed $5 billion in state ...


Andrew Cuomo appalled by warped excuse of Hevesi crony Hank Morris

New York Daily News - Kenneth Lovett - ‎Jun 14, 2010‎

That's the biting legal response to political consultant Hank Morris' amazing contention that cashing in on connections may be unethical ...


Everyone does it' isn't a defense, Cuomo says

Albany Times Union - ‎Jun 14, 2010‎

Hank Morris, a once-adviser to former state comptroller Alan Hevesi, has been accused of taking kickbacks and other payments to steer billions of dollars in ...


Cuomo on pension fraud: 'Everyone does it' not a defense

WRGB - ‎Jun 14, 2010‎

Hank Morris has been accused of taking kickbacks and other payments to steer billions of dollars in pension fund investments to favored companies. ...


Ex-Hevesi aide led $35 million fraud scheme: Cuomo

WAMC - Jonathan Stempel, Joan Gralla - ‎Jun 14, 2010‎

The filing in the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan was in response to a bid by the onetime political aide Henry "Hank" Morris to dismiss the March ...

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The question that needs to be answered is did Hank Morris mastermind the selection and election of DiNapoli by the legislature in 2007, and did he ask "King" Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Schumer to help him ?


Before there was the “Oracle at Delphi” there was Count Vampire J. Machiavelli


VJ Machiavelli

No More Schumer, Pelosi, Rangel, Engel

"After Four Years of Scandals it is time for the Lazio Team"





Tuesday, June 15, 2010

HAGGERTYGATE WINS RACE TO THE COURT HOUSE

Cy Vance and the Manhattan Indicts have won the race to the Court House with an indictment.

I am sure there will be more to follow as the investigation goes on and I m sure when CANTORGATE AND PIGEONGATE reach the Court House they to will generate many headlines.
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Operative Charged With Duping Bloomberg

Wall Street Journal - Michael Howard Saul - ‎

John Haggerty and Special Election Operations LLC, a firm he wholly owns, were charged with grand larceny, money laundering and falsifying business records. ...


Trusted Bloomberg aide, John Haggerty, indicted for stealing $1.1M of mayor's ...

New York Daily News - Adam Lisberg - ‎

Mayor Bloomberg's trusted aide, John Haggerty (not pictured), has been indicted for allegedly stealing $1.1 million of the mayor's money. ...


GOP Consultant Accused of Stealing Campaign Money

New York Times - David W. Chen, Colin Moynihan - ‎3 hours ago‎

John F. Haggerty Jr., left, with his lawyer, Raymond R. Castello, was charged with grand larceny, money laundering and three counts of falsifying business ...


Republican operative in NY accused of stealing $1M

The Associated Press - Colleen Long - ‎

John Haggerty duped Bloomberg and his political advisers into giving the money to the state Independence Party to help with ballot security during the ...


Queens GOP Split In Reaction To Haggerty Indictment

City Hall - Chris Bragg - ‎

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance's indictment of John Haggerty on Monday has one person feeling good about the future: Queens Republican ...


Mayor Scolds Reporters Over Unwanted Queries

New York Times - David W. Chen - ‎

When asked his reaction to the indictment of John F. Haggerty Jr., a Queens political operative who had become close to Mr. Bloomberg, after an event at the ...


Republican operative John Haggerty indicted

YourNabe.com - Howard Koplowitz - ‎

High-profile Queens Republican campaign operative John Haggerty Jr. was indicted Monday by a Manhattan grand jury for allegedly stealing ...


NY Republican operative denies stealing $1M

The Associated Press - Colleen Long - ‎

John Haggerty was enlisted to help guard against fraud during last fall's election. Manhattan prosecutors claim that, instead, he bought a house. ...


Queens Politico Charged With Stealing $1 Million from Bloomberg

Wall Street Journal (blog) - Michael Howard Saul - ‎

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. announced the indictment of John Haggerty and a firm he created, Special Election Operations. ...


New York political operative accused of siphoning funds

Reuters - Karina Ioffee, Ellen Wulfhorst - ‎

John Haggerty, 41, was charged with grand larceny and money laundering by the Manhattan District Attorney's office. The case stems from Bloomberg's ...


Elsewhere: Vance Indicts Haggerty, Ira Glass Meets Dick Ravitch

New York Observer - Eliot Brown - ‎6 hours ago‎

Queens operative John Haggerty was indicted, as Cy Vance accused him of stealing from Mayor Bloomberg, taking money through an Independence ...


Republican operative in NY accused of stealing $1M

The Associated Press - Colleen Long - ‎

District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said Monday that John Haggerty has been indicted on charges of money laundering, grand larceny and falsifying business ...


DA: Bloomberg Volunteer Siphoned $1.1M

North Country Gazette - ‎

John F. Haggerty Jr., 41, and Special Election Operations LLC of 121 State St., Albany, have been charged with grand larceny, money laundering and ...


Paladino Aide Accused of Stealing $1 Million from Bloomberg Campaign

WNED - ‎6 hours ago‎

Manahattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. alleges that John Haggerty and his company, Special Elections Operations, stole $1.1 million of campaign funds ...


Political Operative Indicted for Stealing $1.1 Million From Mayor's Campaign

DNAinfo - Shayna Jacobs - ‎

John Haggerty Jr., 41, was charged with grand larceny, money laundering and falsifying business records as part of a scheme that saw him paid $1.1 million ...


GOP Operative Indicted For Stealing Bloomberg's Money

Gothamist - Jen Chung - ‎

Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance announced that Republican operative John Haggerty was indicted for allegedly stealing $1.1 million of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's ...

Paladino Staff Member Indicted, Accused of Stealing from NY Mayor Bloomberg

WKBW-TV - ‎‎

By WKBW Internet NEW YORK, NY (WKBW) -- The New York Daily News is reporting that John Haggerty, one of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's most trusted ...

GOP Operative Pleads Not Guilty To Stealing From Bloomberg Campaign

NY1 - Grace Rauh - ‎

Veteran Queens Republican leader John Haggerty pleaded not guilty to first-degree grand larceny, second-degree money laundering and first-degree falsifying ...


Paladino aide indicted in theft of $1 million

Buffalo News - Robert J. McCarthy - ‎

John F. Haggerty Jr., a veteran political operative who once worked for former State Attorney General Dennis C. Vacco, has been charged with money ...

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Just like in "Watergate" the little fish is the first to reach the Court House Steps, and in the end the "Big Fish" had to resign, history has away of repeating it's self


Before there was the “Oracle at Delphi” there was Count Vampire J. Machiavelli


VJ Machiavelli

No More Schumer, Pelosi, Rangel, Engel

"After Four Years of Scandals it is time for the Lazio Team"





Sunday, June 13, 2010

LIVE FROM BUFFALO IT IS PIGEONGATE

First there was PENSIONGATE, then there was HAGGERTYGATE and CANTORGATE, and now we have PIGEONGATE.

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Pigeon becomes subject of US Attorney investigation

WBFO - Chris Jamele - ‎11 hours ago‎

BUFFALO, NY (WBFO) - An investigation by a governor's counsel has concluded that political operative Steven Pigeon has exhibited a pattern of violations ...


Probe ties Pigeon to 'pattern' of violations

Buffalo News - Robert J. McCarthy - ‎



Democratic operative G. Steven Pigeon has been involved in a "pattern" of election law violations in Erie County, an investigation by the governor's counsel has concluded, but Gov. David A. Paterson will not appoint a special prosecutor as requested by a former assistant district attorney.

Instead, the results of the governor's investigation will be turned over to the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan, which already is reported to be investigating Pigeon in an unrelated matter.

Paterson determined that former prosecutor Mark A. Sacha's allegations that two successive Erie County district attorneys gave Pigeon a pass on election law violations could most "efficiently" be investigated by the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, according to Peter J. Kiernan, counsel to the governor.

"We concluded the existence of a pattern of violations of election law, some of which may involve money laundering or deliberate evasion of requirements of the election law," Kiernan said. "We thought that needed to be addressed by someone."

While his probe uncovered violations of election law in Erie County, Kiernan offered no judgments on why they were never prosecuted.

Sacha called the governor's chief legal adviser's findings a "vindication" of his claims, adding that the governor's office "had the honesty to admit these allegations are real and have substance."

But he also said Democratic politics and the gubernatorial campaign of Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo lie at the root of the decision not to appoint a special prosecutor.

"Though I find vindication in what they said, they are effectively passing the buck on a subject that should be of utmost importance to the governor of the State of New York, and that's the integrity of the electoral process," said Sacha, who was fired by Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III last October after his allegations were reported by The Buffalo News. "I don't see how they can abdicate their responsibility to see that election law is enforced in New York State."

Sacha has claimed that the two district attorneys passed on prosecuting Pigeon in the election fraud case involving Paul T. Clark's 2007 campaign for county executive out of fear of Pigeon's political power.

Sacha airs views

At the heart of Sacha's allegation is a 13-page memo, which Sacha says outlines evidence that Pigeon laundered a $10,000 contribution from former County Executive Joel A. Giambra's campaign fund to Clark's unsuccessful campaign to succeed Giambra.

Sacha, 52, was the third ranking official in the administration of former District Attorney Frank J. Clark and at one time was the county's chief prosecutor of public corruption.

When Sedita took office in 2008, he demoted Sacha. Sacha claimed the demotion was the result of his insistence that the DA's office prosecute Pigeon and others for money laundering schemes from the Paul Clark campaign.

Informed that the governor's office was referring the Pigeon investigation to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, Sacha questioned why the matter has been referred to federal investigators when the local FBI and U.S. attorney's office did not prosecute in 2008, citing lack of jurisdiction.

Sacha says that while Paterson was interested in pursuing the case last fall when he was a candidate for governor, the lame duck governor is now committed to protecting the gubernatorial aspirations of Cuomo, a fellow Democrat.

"The rules that regard election laws are fundamental because they ensure that it protects the right to free and fair elections," Sacha said. "And the right to vote is fundamental because it protects all the other constitutional rights, and the state has a duty to protect that."

As attorney general, Cuomo would be charged with appointing a special prosecutor (or appointing himself as special prosecutor) to probe Pigeon, the former Erie County Democratic chairman and now counsel to a top State Senate leader.

That would have proved "embarrassing," Sacha said, because Pigeon has emerged as a significant influence in determining the endorsement of the often influential Independence Party, which last month backed Cuomo for governor.

Pigeon is also the conduit to millions of dollars in campaign donations that often stems from his political patron, Florida billionaire B. Thomas Golisano, owner of the Buffalo Sabres. Golisano, who has hinted at becoming involved in the 2010 New York elections after spending $4.4 million in 2008 state legislative contests, has praised Cuomo as a potential candidate for governor.

Sacha said it all fits into the governor's decision.

"[Frank Clark and Sedita] improperly used their discretion to protect a political friend," Sacha said, "and the governor has used his discretion to improperly protect the Democratic gubernatorial candidate."

Cuomo also recently appointed former Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye to investigate a series of ethical allegations surrounding Paterson.

Kiernan, however, denied any ulterior motive.

"It is not a political decision," he said.

But he acknowledged that no discussions were ever held with Cuomo or any other potential special prosecutor about the possibility of investigating Sacha's allegations.

Still, he pointed out that gubernatorial appointments of special prosecutors are rare, and that the costs of an extensive investigation would be prohibitive. He said Paterson also assigned considerable importance to the "prosecutorial discretion" of a district attorney.

"We knew the district attorney of Erie County — Mr. Clark — had exercised prosecutorial discretion, which should not be taken lightly by anybody," Kiernan said. "We also knew his successor — Mr. Sedita — made a similar judgment but didn't even start."

(MORE)

Pigeon becomes subject of US Attorney investigation

WBFO - Chris Jamele - ‎11 hours ago‎

BUFFALO, NY (WBFO) - An investigation by a governor's counsel has concluded that political operative Steven Pigeon has exhibited a pattern of violations ...

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From "Watergate" to "Pigeongate" you always follow the money, and boy is their plenty of money to follow.


Can the press follow the money as it leads to some or many of it "SOURCES" and help expose PENSIONGATE, HAGGERTYGATE, CANTORGATE, AND NOW PIGEONGATE ?


Before there was the “Oracle at Delphi” there was Count Vampire J. Machiavelli


VJ Machiavelli


No More Schumer, Pelosi, Rangel, Engel

"After Four Years of Scandals it is time for the Lazio Team"