Monroe County Democratic Committee, Rochester, NY
With the recent indictment of Assembly member Joseph Errigo the people of the 133rd District once again discovered that their representative is alleged to have put his own financial interest ahead of the needs of his district. This is the second time in two years that the Assembly members from the 133rd have had to answer to federal charges rather than to the voters.
Republican and Conservative candidate Marjorie Byrnes defeated Joe Errigo in the Republican primary, and she has asserted in her media appearances since his indictment that she is free of the ethical issues surrounding Mr. Errigo, who remains on the ballot on minor lines. But her campaign is in fact the subject of a criminal complaint regarding her $20,000 payment to Jason McGuire, the Livingston County Conservative Chair, in advance of receiving the Conservatives' ballot line over the summer. Although the sum was disclosed on campaign filings as payment for "Consultation," McGuire had never done any paid political work in the past. Later statements by the Byrnes campaign suggested McGuire, whose previous work had always been done on a volunteer basis, had been hired as campaign manager. Yet that amount is far in excess of normal payment for this sort of work in this region, and such sums are not typically paid in advance of the work actually being done. The fact that Mr. McGuire returned the money suggests that he himself thought there was something wrong with accepting it
The Livingston County District Attorney referred the criminal complaint to the Public Integrity Bureau of the State Attorney General’s Office on August 7, and there have been no public announcements regarding the case since. The Democratic County Committee Chairs of the 133rd Assembly District feel that the voters must have more information on the investigation's progress before Election Day; they call on the Attorney General's Office to give more information and hopefully resolve the case before people have to vote.
Judith Hunter, Chair of the Livingston County Democratic Committee: "We cannot have yet another person under an ethical cloud representing us in Albany. We deserve an Assembly member of honesty and integrity, and the people of Livingston County must know more. Fortunately, Democratic candidate Barbara Baer faces no such issues and is a choice we can be confident in."
Brittaney Wells, Chair of the Monroe County Democratic Committee: "I hope that the Attorney General's Office can provide the voters with some clarity before November 6. Transparency and strong ethics are critical components of good government and if these important elements are missing during a campaign how can we expect them to be carried into elected office. Voters deserve an answer to these charges when looking at the Republican candidate. Luckily, those voters have the option of voting for Barbara Baer, a candidate with an unblemished record, who is transparent and has conducted her campaign using the highest ethical standards."
Shawn Hogan, Chair of the Steuben County Democratic Committee: "Here we go again? Don't we deserve better than that? We hope the AG can get to the bottom of this very soon, but voters have to wonder if the Republicans deserve another shot at this seat that has seen such abuse at their hands in recent years. Barbara Baer offers a true alternative to the politics as usual that has served us so poorly."
Judith Hunter Chair Livingston County Democratic Committee
Brittaney Wells Chair Monroe County Democratic Committee
Shawn Hogan Chair Steuben County Democratic Committee