Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. announced Friday former Erie County, New York Democratic Party chair has been indicted for bribing a New York State Supreme Court Justice.
Fifty-six-year-old G. Steven Pigeon of Buffalo, New York was charged with honest services wire fraud, one count of federal programs bribery, one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and three counts of violation of the Travel Act.
Pigeon gave former New York State Supreme Court Judge John A. Michalek things of value in exchange for official action between February 2012 and April 2013. Pigeon promised one of Michalek’s family members employment with President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign. He also offered that same family member help in obtaining employment with the U.S. Department of State and promised to support Michalek’s “application for appointment to the appellate division of the New York State Supreme Court” in exchange for favorable judicial decisions and to control who was appointed to a paid court receivership, according to court records.
“Bribery of a judge strikes at the very core of our democracy,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Blanco said in a statement. “The independence of the judiciary is paramount to civilized society. Our prosecutors and law enforcement partners will pursue any and all attempts to corrupt our fundamental institutions, including the judiciary.”