Former state senator George Maziarz, center, with lawyers E. Stewart Jones, left, and Joseph LaTona, appears in Albany County Court on Thursday, March 23, 2017, in Albany.
For the more than quarter-century that George D. Maziarz reigned supreme over Niagara County Republican politics, paying for elections never posed a problem for his brimming campaign treasury.
Indeed, during the two years now scrutinized by state Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, the former state senator from Newfane regularly checked in with around three-quarters of a million dollars.
But now, Schneiderman says Maziarz and the Niagara County Republican Committee under his control bankrolled far more than just elections. They essentially acted as pass-through accounts for no-show jobs, Schneiderman said Thursday as his office announced multicount felony indictments against the former state senator and his Albany successor, Sen. Robert G. Ortt.
The attorney general said Thursday his efforts will revolve around “no-show jobs and secret payments” that he called “the lifeblood of public corruption.” The payments allegedly went to a former Niagara County legislator and Maziarz campaign associate, as well as to Ortt’s wife, neither of whom did any work to earn the money, according to the indictments.