Court appearances are becoming routine for G. Steven Pigeon and his associates.
The former Erie County Democratic Committee chairman faced his third arraignment in approximately 18 months Thursday during a County Hall appearance. The latest felony election law charge stemmed from Friday’s indictment by a special grand jury convened in Buffalo by Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.
“That’s correct, your honor, not guilty,” Pigeon told acting State Supreme Court Justice Donald F. Cerio Jr. when asked his plea.
Pigeon was joined by longtime political associate David B. Pfaff, who pleaded “not guilty – absolutely” when asked the same question. Another defendant, Kristy L. Mazurek, did not appear because of medical reasons but will remain a defendant in the case.
Pfaff and Mazurek face the same charges as Pigeon, centering around the state’s contention that they controlled an independent political committee that illegally coordinated with anti-Democratic Committee candidates in the 2013 Democratic primary for County Legislature.
In June 2016, Pigeon was indicted by another grand jury on bribery and larceny charges for allegedly helping two relatives of former State Supreme Court Justice John A. Michalek find jobs. The state alleges that, in return, the judge assigned a lucrative court case to an attorney friend of Pigeon’s, among other actions.
Michalek resigned his job and pleaded guilty to bribery charges while agreeing to become a state witness against Pigeon.
Pigeon also faces federal charges in a felony indictment returned in October that focuses on many of the state allegations.
The former chairman has denied all of the charges brought against him and has labeled them politically motivated.