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GOP chairman seeks Holt's resignation

The chairman of the Erie County Republican Party has called for Legislator George A. Holt Jr. to resign, following his guilty plea to misdemeanor charges of tax law violations.

James P. Domagalski said that Holt, a Buffalo Democrat, "broke the law" and "abused the public trust" and that he should leave the County Legislature.

"How can one of its own members, and its former chairman, have any credibility to make taxation decisions for this county after failing to pay his own taxes and then pleading guilty to two counts of tax fraud?" Domagalski asked. "The taxpayers of Erie County deserve better."

Following his guilty plea Monday, Holt said he had no intention of stepping down and plans to continue receiving his $42,588 annual salary. He also said he will run for re-election in November.

But Holt received stiff opposition from six primary opponents in 2005, and some observers think he could be vulnerable this year.

Holt did not return a call seeking his comment, but Domagalski emphasized Tuesday that Holt was pushing for a sales tax increase while failing to hand over nearly $20,000 of sales tax from Mattie's Texas Hots, the East Side restaurant he owns with his wife.

Domagalski also challenged his Democratic counterpart, Leonard R. Lenihan, to ask for Holt's resignation.

Lenihan dismissed that idea.

"He pled to a misdemeanor and it did not require him to give up his public office," Lenihan said Tuesday. He then turned the tables on Domagalski, asking why the GOP chief has not called for State Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno's resignation after Bruno disclosed the FBI is investigating his private business interests.


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