Indictment includes Pigeon-Michalek email exchanges - The Buffalo News

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Indictment includes Pigeon-Michalek email exchanges

Many of the email conversations included in the new federal indictment against G. Steven Pigeon refer to his efforts to use his political ties to help a close relative of Judge John A. Michalek get jobs – initially with President Barack Obama's 2012 re-election campaign and later with the State Department.

In March 2012, Pigeon wrote to Michalek: "Obama does pay. My close friend runs the southern region for campaign says he thinks he can get him a paid field job it would be till election…U can make great connections that can lead to a DC job."

Also during that month, Pigeon repeatedly sent emails to Michalek seeking the judge's help in a case pending in Michalek's court. According to court papers, an unnamed client of Pigeon's political consultant firm was a party in the case before Michalek. The client was a "managed care company" that paid Pigeon approximately $188,000 for his services, according to court papers.

"This [Person D] is a bad actor. He absolutely took trade secrets from these guys," Pigeon wrote to Michalek on March 2, 2012. "We would like to see all communications with key executives of [Company A] clients and competitors…Thank you for keeping me in the loop."

Two weeks later, Michalek sent Pigeon an email containing a new court order that ruled in favor of Pigeon's client. Three days after that, Michalek sent Pigeon another email thanking Pigeon for his efforts to help the judge's relative get a job, and asking Pigeon to "Please keep me posted."

New indictment against Pigeon, but feds pull charges of illegal campaign funding

There also were discussions about Pigeon's efforts to help Michalek get a more lucrative appointment as a state appeals court judge.

In an email from December 2012, Michalek told Pigeon he had applied for an appellate court position, and asked if Pigeon could help.

Pigeon responded that if a judge referred to in court papers as "Person L" was not interested, "U r my man…I will start talking u up."

On Jan. 8, 2013, Michalek emailed Pigeon: "Unc Steve…How'd you do with the Gov????"

"In Albany now," Pigeon emailed in response. "Gov went well…Talked u up."

If the case ever goes to trial, the court papers make clear that Michalek – who would be called upon to explain the emails – would be the federal government's star witness.

Michalek never did get his appointment as an appeals court judge. Instead, in June 2016, he walked into State Supreme Court as a criminal defendant and pleaded guilty to taking bribes from Pigeon.

The former judge, now 66, initially was scheduled for sentencing in September 2016, but that proceeding has been delayed several times. He could face up to seven years in prison, prosecutors said.

[PDF: Read indictment against G. Steven Pigeon]

 

 

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