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Questions are surfacing after Sam Hoyt’s abrupt departure from a top state government post in Buffalo early this week. Such as: • Why did Hoyt's boss, Howard A. Zemsky, applaud Hoyt’s record when investigations were under way over allegations that Hoyt had sexually harassed a state employee? • Why did Hoyt, a close official and political operative of Gov. Andrew M…

Local News

Sam Hoyt, who abruptly resigned as head of New York State’s regional economic development agency, paid $50,000 last year to silence a former state employee pursuing official complaints that he attempted to continue a budding romantic relationship that she wished to end. The woman, whom The Buffalo News has agreed not to identify, said she is angry that Hoyt left his pos…

Local News

Sam Hoyt, the former assemblyman who headed the Empire State Development Corp.’s Buffalo area operations throughout the Cuomo administration, has abruptly left state government for the private sector. Several local sources said they received emails Sunday night from Hoyt announcing his departure as regional president of ESD, and he told The Buffalo News on Monday that h…

Columns

The calendar says Election Day 2017 is upon us, but the pols are already looking to 2018. Take all three local races for Congress. Republican Chris Collins of Clarence now faces two declared candidates, former Erie County Assistant District Attorney Sean Bunny and businessman Nicholas Stankevich. They face long odds against all the advantages enjoyed by a powerful incum…

For those keeping score at home, the Conservative Party released its annual legislative report card this week showing only one Western New Yorker — Republican Assemblyman Stephen Hawley of Batavia — as one of the most conservative members of the Legislature. State Conservative Chairman Michael R. Long said the ratings were based on votes involving spending, crime, educa…

Politics

When Erie County polls open on Nov. 7, voters probably won't encounter the long lines that they saw in the 2016 presidential election. Voter enthusiasm over countywide contests for comptroller, clerk and sheriff is gauged as low, while a dearth of races in the City of Buffalo is tamping down any expectations of substantial turnout there. Amherst, Hamburg and Lancaste…

It’s early and it was only for bragging rights, but businessman Ian Golden of Tompkins County emerged as winner of a weekend straw poll among Democrats lining up to challenge Republican Rep. Tom Reed of the 23rd Congressional District next year. Golden captured 30 percent of the vote at the Saturday survey of Democrats gathering in Randolph. Attorney Eddie Sundquist of …

Another Democrat is now a candidate to challenge incumbent Republican Chris Collins in the 27th Congressional District. Businessman Nicholas Stankevich said Monday he will seek the Democratic nomination throughout the 11-county district for a contest still more than a year in the future. “As an entrepreneur and local businessperson, I know that we can do better,” he …

Local News

Ray Brown was returning from a fare to Niagara Falls Saturday morning when he found himself turning into Buffalo’s Broderick Park. He got out of his mini-van cab and slowly walked to the makeshift memorial springing up on the park’s edge, just above the rushing waters of the Niagara River. He snapped a photo on his cell phone, and then he stood quietly for just a moment…

Local News

Just before the trial of former state Sen. George D. Maziarz was set to begin last month, his attorneys learned of internal state Board of Elections emails questioning whether he committed any crime at all. Now, Joseph M. LaTona, of Buffalo, and E. Stewart Jones, of Troy, are moving to dismiss the three-count indictment against the former Niagara County Republican power…

What do you get when you combine the county comptroller’s audits with the sheriff’s power of arrest? Six apprehensions occurred Thursday stemming from Erie County Family Court warrants for failing to pay thousands of dollars in child support.  The arrests were announced during a news conference Friday at the Sheriff’s Office. The arrests were part of a 15th annual co…

Local News

The  Metro Rail expansion into the former DL&W terminal appears back on track after Congress last week restored money that the Trump administration had canceled for a federal grant initiative. Now Sen. Charles E. Schumer and Rep. Brian Higgins are starting a process they hope will produce a key transportation and commercial center in the old Delaware, Lackawanna and…

Local News

The candidate debates that Ted Lina’s AP students sponsor and host at St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute have ranked as one of the premier campaign events each year for more than three decades. Candidates for Congress, county executive, mayor and other offices answered questions in a packed gymnasium that routinely draws a crowd of local reporters and often proves a key …

Opinion

A few leftovers from an event-filled week: • Vice President Pence’s swing through Erie County on Tuesday accomplished much for local Republicans. Rep. Chris Collins and other GOP causes raked in about $400,000 from more than 200 people attending his Salvatore’s Italian Gardens fundraiser featuring the VP. And, Collins continues as the Trump administration’s top House…

Less than two weeks after Vice President Pence appeared in Buffalo, second lady Karen Pence will arrive in town to  address veterans at the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival at the University at Buffalo North Campus on Oct. 28. The Department of Veteran’s Affairs Western New York Healthcare System will sponsor the 1 p.m. event, which will feature addresses by Dr.…