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The Sheriff's Department took boxes of records last week from the office of the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency in the continuing investigation of fees paid to the agency's executive director.

District Attorney Matthew J. Murphy III who is heading the investigation had no comment. But State Sen. George D. Maziarz, R-North Tonawanda, whose complaint initiated the investigation, said sheriff's personnel removed records from the IDA office at 2055 Niagara Falls Blvd. Maziarz said he did not know if the records were obtained voluntarily or whether a subpoena had been granted.

Maziarz asked Murphy to investigate nearly $20,000 in fees paid to Leo J. Nowak Jr., IDA executive director, which Maziarz says violate a 1993 state law. The payments were a share of fees received by the IDA for bond projects since 1994.

Nowak, who has announced his retirement when his current term expires in October, has denied the fees were illegal.

Maziarz said he still intends to sponsor legislation to give municipalities the right to reject IDA-assisted projects qualifying for tax breaks, but will wait untill the Legislature is not preoccupied with the budget.

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