Former Maziarz machine approaches an uneasy detente

For decades Senator George Maziarz was the godfather of Niagara County politics.  He was once a leading power broker in Albany, but his resignation following rumors of a looming FBI investigation caused his political empire to unfold. That those eventual charges, brought by a politically ambitious and particularly partisan Attorney General, would be settled with a $1,000 fine, largely vindicates Maziarz in the eyes of most observers.

But it’s rumored that Maziarz is badly resentful of testimony that his friends and advisers offered to FBI investigators, which would evolve into a salacious probe that ended up amounting to little more than sloppy record keeping among staffers. Now vindicated, Maziarz is surely thirsting for a comeback; if not to elected office, perhaps as Chairman of the New York Power Authority.

There is a longing among those members of the former Maziarz machine to reconcile — even a desire to work to ensure that his reputation is treated with deserved esteem in the public consiousness.  They suggest renaming the Niagara Falls Airport and River Road after him. They don’t know how, however, to apologize.

“There’s a process that is going to have to take place,” one source says.  “George is going to have to be willing to accept a peace offering and realize the kinds of pressure that everyone was under.”

Maziarz has powerful, wide ranging contacts across the state. With an intact political apparatus, those contacts become more valuable. If Maziarz can learn to master the art of political reconciliation, he may have a chance of becoming the ‘boss of bosses’ once again.

 

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