Senator George D. Maziarz was accused by state officials of orchestrating multiple layered pass-through schemes which permitted him to push money from his campaign committee. Money from Niagara County Republican Committee was also siphoned out at his behest. The full event was then falsely reported as expenses on five distinct filings with Board of Elections. Maziarz was allegedly helped by other Republicans of Niagara County.
Hiring the accused
The issue started in 2013 when Maziarz, in the middle of a re-election effort, wanted to hire the services of former Senate staffer who faced charges of sexual harassment. The former then told everyone to keep this hiring secret. The matter of contention is whether Maziarz broke any laws while doing so. He has then retired and will appear in a court in Albany to answer to a five-count indictment. He will argue that what he has done cannot be counted as a crime. His legal challenge is counting on the evidence of Internal emails sent by officials from New York State Board of Elections. They expressed doubts about the offense's seriousness. Maziarz's lawyers state that overzealous election officials specially singled him out. In his filed court papers, his lawyers submitted that given the lack of consistency, confusion, and the presumptive political motivation of being targeted, no valid aim will be served even if a sentence is imposed on the senior politician. Maziarz has hired attorneys E. Stewart Jones and Joseph M. LaTona of Troy and Buffalo respectively.
Prosecutors differ on this judgment. They will say that Maziarz's crime is real and prosecutable. They will also argue that efforts to dismiss charges laid against him will only add fuel to the public perception that the political system of New York is a rotten one. Lawyers working for Eric T. Schneiderman, the Attorney General, said that these emails are evidence of internal debates, and should be construed only as such. They said that the charges against him are quite serious to bring criminal charges.
Christopher Baynes, the Assistant Attorney General, stated in the court papers that the case involves wanton abuse of the campaign disclosure laws of New York. The intention was to deceive the public as payments were given to the accused sexual harasser. The state officials have accused the Republicans of conspiring to conceal the campaign money fund sources paid to Glenn S. Aronow, a former member of staff in the Senate.