The FBI has charged Rep. Assemblyman Joseph Errigo with bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds and honest services wire fraud.
The FBI has charged GOP Assemblyman Joseph Errigo with bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds and honest services wire fraud.
According to a criminal complaint, Errigo had an "unusually close relationship" with a lobbyist regarding a bribery scheme. The purpose of the proposed bribe was to have Errigo introduce certain legislation.
The legislation involved reducing the extent of local control over a pending development project in the Rochester area, and giving the state the ability to review the project with the Department of Transportation.
Errigo, 79, R-Conesus, allegedly accepted a total of $5,500.
He told FBI agents in May that he accepted the money and that it was a mistake, according to a criminal complaint.
He was arraigned and released on his own recognizance.
The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Errigo served in the Assembly from 2001 to 2010, representing the 136th District and, after redistricting, the 130th District, which then included nine Ontario County towns (before more redistricting). He was elected again in 2016, to respresent the 133rd District, after the incumbent, Bill Nojay, committed suicide while facing a federal wire fraud charge. The 133rd District includes all of Livingston County and portions of Monroe and Steuben counties.
Prosecutors did not identify the project involved or the person who allegedly paid the bribe. U.S. Attorney James Kennedy did not rule out other arrests.
According to the complaint, the case against Errigo stemmed from an FBI investigation into an "unusually close relationship" between a different member of the Assembly and a lobbyist. It eventually expanded to include the alleged bribe payor and Errigo.
The FBI photographed the person who paid the bribe leaving $1,500 in Errigo's car at his Pittsford office in February, the complaint said. Errigo allegedly received $2,000 more in March, 11 days before he introduced bill A10227 in the Assembly. With the FBI secretly monitoring, Errigo received another $2,000 in cash in April, according to the complaint.
Includes reporting from The Associated Press