Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown says he knows the three men whose homes were searched by law enforcement Thursday well and was surprised to learn of the investigation.
Federal and state investigators removed boxes and computer equipment from the homes of former Deputy Mayor Steve Casey, Congressman Chris Collins' chief-of-staff Christopher Grant and government lobbyist and political insider Steven Pigeon.
Brown says he is not award of any wrongdoing and found the news to be "a surprise." He says he has been informed by law enforcement that he is not involved in the investigation and has not been subpoenaed.
"Steve Casey worked with me for a long period of time. [He was] very bright, very creative, very hard-working. I always found him to be of the highest integrity," Brown said Friday, following a news briefing on a separate matter.
The mayor used similar words to describe Pigeon, whom he called a "person of integrity."
The investigation of Casey, Grant and Pigeon appears to be focused around an independent political committee called the WNY Progressive Caucus, which has ties to Pigeon.