Maziarz, Ortt indicted on felony election law violations

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 March 2017 at 9:42 pm

Rob Ortt

ALBANY – State Sen. Rob Ortt and his long-time predecessor, George Maziarz, have both been indicted on felony election law violations, multiple media outlets are reporting.

Maziarz was the area’s state senator for nearly 20 years until he made a surprise announcement in the summer of 2014 that he wouldn’t seek re-election to a district that includes Niagara, Orleans and the western portion of Monroe County.

That opened the door for Ortt, who was then North Tonawanda’s mayor, to seek the position. He was elected in November 2014 to his first two-year term and was re-elected to another term last November.

The Buffalo News is reporting that Ortt’s charges involve three counts of offering a false instrument for filing.

George Maziarz

Ortt, in a statement to media outlets, called the charges “baseless” and “ridiculous” by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

“As someone who fought and sacrificed for our country, I am sickened that a career politician and hyper partisan like Eric Schneiderman can concoct baseless charges to serve his own political agenda,” Ortt said in his statement. “One thing is clear: the only reason I am included in this is to make their case politically appealing.”

“As multiple news organizations have documented, Eric Schneiderman has been obsessed with using his political office to persecute his political enemies and protect his political allies. We look forward to telling voters the truth about Eric Schneiderman and exposing him for the power hungry, political opportunist he is and I will fight this ridiculous charge.”

Ortt is to appear in court in Albany on Thursday.

Another high-ranking Republican in Niagara County, former GOP Chairman Henry Wojtaszek, pleaded guilty today to a misdemeanor election law violation, The Buffalo News is reporting. Wojtaszek is the chief executive officer of the Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp., based in Batavia.

Details on the charges against Maziarz are expected to be released on Thursday.

For more on the case, click here to see the story in The Buffalo News.

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