Today’s indictments are exactly the reason community members and leaders from both law enforcement and the legal profession asked me to run for Erie County District Attorney.
Over the past several years, allegations of illegal campaign finance schemes and transactions were brought to then Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita and First Deputy District Attorney Mike Flaherty. Both looked the other way when it came to Steve Pigeon for one reason: he was their political ally. Obviously NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman thought there was enough evidence to investigate the complaints and as a result found extensive criminal behavior which was outlined in court over the last two days.
Steve Pigeon and other bad actors could have been stopped years earlier, and crimes prevented, if only Mike Flaherty and the DA’s office had taken an interest in political corruption.
It is time for a change in the DA’s office. Today’s indictment combined with the fact that Steve Pigeon associates are running Mike Flaherty’s campaign are reason enough why Flaherty is not a credible candidate for Erie County District Attorney. As District Attorney, I will follow the evidence wherever it leads and work to restore confidence by changing the culture of the DA’s office, and taking politics out of the decision making process.