Peter A. Rouff, an orthodontist who waged a long-shot campaign for Buffalo Common Council in November, faces a charge of patronizing a prostitute in Amherst.
A town officer charged Rouff after a traffic stop near University Plaza on Feb. 10, according to court records.
Rouff, an unmarried Buffalo resident with professional offices in Tonawanda and Amherst, had little comment about the matter when contacted by The Buffalo News on Wednesday. But he said he intends to plead innocent when arraigned in town court on March 24.
The Republican who lives in North Buffalo defied conventional wisdom last year when he ran to represent the Delaware District on the Common Council. Even though Rouff was taking on another relative newcomer to politics – Democrat Joel P. Feroleto – a Republican had not been elected to the Council since 1981.
Rouff argued that Feroleto, who had been handpicked by party leaders, should not be allowed to coast into the office. Rouff then spent around $95,000 trying to win a seat that pays its incumbent $52,000 a year.
The Delaware District is the city’s most favorable for Republicans. But Democrats still have a 4-1 enrollment edge over the GOP. Rouff lost with 29 percent of the vote.
Rouff later said he had not soured on politics and may run for another office some day. But in a brief telephone conversation Wednesday, he acknowledged the damage to his reputation that a charge of patronizing a prostitute can inflict.
He was less than two miles from home on Feb. 10 when an Amherst officer pulled over his auto for a lane violation around 1:10 a.m. near University Plaza. In the course of that traffic stop, at Main Street and Kenmore Avenue, police obtained the information needed to charge Rouff with a misdemeanor count of patronizing a prostitute, even though the woman was not in the car with him, said Amherst Police Capt. Michael Camilleri.
Defendants convicted of the charge face up to a year in prison, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.