In a shocking political development, longtime Senator George Maziarz (R-Newfane) has decided not to seek reelection. The resignation comes less than a weak after top aids Alisa Colatarci and Marcus Hall resigned abruptly. PoliticsNY.net is reporting that the staffers were under the pressure of federal investigators who are investigating campaign finance irregularities.
In October of 2010, the Seneca Nation of Indians made two separate contributions of $96,000 each to a fundraising committee controlled by Maziarz. The Senator had convinced a handful of Seneca leaders to contribute the nearly $200,000 to target Senator Antoine Thompson, who had postured against the nation on various tobacco and gaming issues.
The money was intended for last minute television ads promoting candidate Mark Grisanti, who was the long shot candidate running on the Republican line. But barely half of that money made its way to eventual media buys.
The Moreland Commission had been investigating Maziarz for campaign irregularities before it was disbanded by Governor Andrew Cuomo. US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharra has revived the Commissions investigations, and City & State notes that Maziarz had reported over $140,000 in unitemized expenses.
Maziarz released this statement:
The local Republican Party is expected to name North Tonawanda Mayor Robert Ort to replace Maziarz on the ballot. Republican Gia Arnold has been already planning on running, as is Democrat Johnny Destino.