By Mike Madigan
A primary requirement of accepting the job as a U.S. Attorney is to never allow any form of conflict of interest to develop that may put into question the credibility of the U.S. Attorney’s office and the Federal Court system.
The Local 17 Union member case that was completed earlier this year was a very serious case that impacts the safety and security of U.S. citizens and businesses.
The defendants involved in this case were accused of both threatening violence and of taking violent action on behalf of their Union. According to The Buffalo News the violent activity included stabbing a company executive, threatening to sexually assault a company representative’s wife and destruction of occupied cars and destruction of expensive privately owned heavy construction equipment.
U.S. Attorney Hochul and his office was tasked with prosecuting this case against the Local 17 members which also involved the AFL-CIO who employed its own legal team to support the defendant legal teams because they deemed that a positive outcome for the defendants was critical to all union’s future activities.
The AFL-CIO feared a precedent may be set in these cases resulting in the loss of the “Enmons loophole” that provides unions a defense when violence occurs in pursuit of union objectives.
The case against the union and its members impacts the safety and security of U.S. citizens and private companies, their employees and property. The U.S. Attorney was tasked with representing these claimants and the victims of these violent crimes and his office was expected to aggressively, without any outside influences, prosecute these cases to their fullest extent.
This standard was not met.
U.S. Attorney Hochul’s wife Kathy Hochul received from the same unions involved in this case before her husband what can only be described as game changing large cash contributions, over $250,000, and game changing support that greatly contributed to her victory in the 2011 special election for congress.
Kathy Hochul’s election to Congress and these funds greatly benefited both William and Kathy Hochul financially as a family. In fact Kathy Hochul on June 25, 2012 repaid herself $250,000 from her campaign account that was funded by this conflicted union money. These same unions that were making these payments to Kathy Hochul were at the same time highly engaged in a major case involving her U.S. Attorney husband. In fact the day prior to Hochul repaying herself the $250,000 – Local 17 paid $5,000 into that same account.
The following summarizes the game changing campaign support Kathy Hochul received from Local 17 and the AFL-CIO concurrent with major activity before her husband in Federal Court involving the same organizations. The following greatly contributed to Kathy Hochul’s 2011 victory in the special election which benefited Kathy Hochul both professionally and financially and by association it benefited her U.S. Attorney husband:
- The AFL-CIO contributed over $250,000 in cash to Kathy Hochul’s campaigns both prior to and immediately following her victory in 2011.
- The unions involved in the case performed over 30,000 phone calls on behalf of Kathy Hochul prior to her 2011 victory in the special election.
- The unions involved in the case knocked on over 20,000 doors within Hochul’s district on her behalf.
- Unions involved in the case had representatives hand out over 30,000 Hochul fliers at work sites employing union members that reside within Hochul’s district.
- The Hochul’s accepted the UAW offer to hold her campaign night reception in 2011 at the AFL-CIO member UAW Buffalo Headquarters. Incredibly, U.S. Attorney Hochul apparently felt there was no conflict of interest involved with his family accepting this gift. The U.S. Attorney partied at the Buffalo union headquarters with the same unions he was facing in federal court at the same time.
Read the UWUA statement.
Ultimately this support contributed greatly to the election of Kathy Hochul and all the monetary and associated job benefits that the Hochul family received as a result of this victory can’t be denied.
Kathy Hochul’s accepting these gifts and large cash payments completely compromised the U.S. Attorney and by association his office during the prosecution of these cases. Significant sentence reductions were handed down and the case was deemed a partial victory for the unions.
A review of this case by an independent investigator is warranted and corrective and preventive action must be performed to prevent such corruption in the future.
The behavior of U.S. Attorney Hochul and his wife in this case is not unique and has been repeated in many other cases. This chronic and long-term corruption of the U.S, Federal Justice System by the Hochul’s must be stopped and action must be taken to prevent continued similar corruption.
As per the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: “Federal courts in the Western District of New York appear to grant an unusually high number of sentence reductions for criminals”. As per the same article in the D&C: US Attorney Hochul stated “The district as well has some of the longest sentences. “
Review of the data shows both claims are accurate:
The above report was the fifth in a series. The fourth report was focused on two cases where harsh sentences were handed down concurrent with cash from Plaintiffs flowing into the U.S. Attorney’s wife’s campaign.
The first three reports released in this series detailed the shocking sentence reductions that occurred in two major cases involving multiple defendants where all seven of the primary defendant’s lawyers/legal teams contributed campaign cash to the US Attorney’s wife concurrent with major activity occurring in the involved cases.
Example: In the violent drug dealer case of Anthony Lamarand – his lawyer made three separate contributions within hours of major case activity involving the U.S. Attorney’s office and the Lamarand case on three different dates over a 15 month period showing a strong correlation between case activity before the U.S. Attorney and cash payments to the wife of the U.S. Attorney (her campaign fund).
These payments could explain the root cause of atypically short and long sentences observed by both the USA Today and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle in the Hochul district. In order to determine if that is true an investigation is warranted.
The credibility of the federal justice system has been impacted as a result of these actions by the Hochuls. the credibility of the U.S. attorney;s office and the federal court system must be restored through appropriate corrective and preventive action.
This is the fifth part of a running investigation of the US Attorney’s Office that The Buffalo Chronicle is conducting. Read Mike Madigan’s jaw dropping investigative series here:
Part 4: Harsh sentances cast doubt