Attorneys for former New York State Senator George Maziarz filed new motions Friday morning in Albany to have public corruption charges dismissed.
Maziarz, who retired from his seat in 2014, was once among the most powerful political figures in Niagara County. Earlier this year, State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman charged him with five counts of filing false campaign expenditure reports. Maziarz is alleged to have funneled funds through his own election campaign and the Niagara County Republican Committee to make secret payments to a former senate staffer who left his post amid sexual harassment claims.
Previous efforts by his legal team to dismiss the case were unsuccessful. Friday morning, attorney E. Stewart Jones filed new motions in Albany County.
"One is a motion to dismiss in the interest of justice, primarily predicated upon internal emails among attorneys for the New York State Board of Election," said attorney Joseph LaTona, who is also representing Maziarz. "The second relates to information that was concealed from the grand jury which returned the indictment, that we discovered when we received all of the prior witness statements as we were on the eve of trial, when a lot of the material was disclosed."
The emails among Board of Election lawyers, LaTona suggests, raise doubts as to whether Maziarz committed any crimes.
Maziarz's successor, State Senator Robert Ortt, was recently cleared of public corruption charges. LaTona said that would have no effect on Maziarz's case. Critics of the Attorney General suggest he has selectively prosecuted politicians based on political bias. Schneiderman, a Democrat, has previously and sharply denied that claim.
LaTona was asked whether charges against Maziarz, a Republican, may be politically motivated.
"I'm not going to speak to the motives of the Attorney General's Office. I have my suspicions but I will keep those to myself a this point," LaTona replied.
Maziarz's case is scheduled to resume in Albany on November 2.