Schneiderman: "Today’s guilty plea and full admission sends a strong message to every elected official."
New York, NY - March 5, 2018 - New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has announced the guilty plea and admission of former State Senator George Maziarz. Attorney General Schneiderman released the following statement:
“Today’s guilty plea and full admission sends a strong message to every elected official that if you abuse the public trust, you will be rooted out, and there will be a public accounting of your crime. This case stands for a very simple but important principle, which is that you cannot use your campaign account as a slush fund to avoid public scrutiny. No one, not even George Maziarz, can use campaign accounts to deceive the public, flout the law, and pay off friends.”
Maziarz pleaded guilty to Offering of a False Instrument for Filing in the Second Degree, related to a pass-through scheme in which he used money from his campaign committee to funnel secret campaign payments to a former Senate staffer, Glen Aronow, who had left government service amid charges of sexual harassment. The plea was entered today in Albany County Court before Judge Peter Lynch.
In his allocution before the court, Maziarz admitted, in sum and substance, to wanting to continue to use the services of Glen Aronow without the public knowing, so he arranged for payment to Aronow through a series of intermediaries, including Synor Marketing, knowing that those payments would not be included on various public filings with the BOE, including the 2012 July Periodic disclosure, making them knowingly false. In addition to the admission of guilt, Maziarz will also pay a $1,000 fine plus relevant surcharges.
Assistant Attorneys General Christopher Baynes and Matthew Peluso of the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Bureau prosecuted this case under the supervision of Public Integrity Bureau Chief Daniel Cort and Deputy Bureau Chief Stacy Aronowitz. The Criminal Justice Division is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Margaret Garnett.
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Buffalo, along with Investigator David Buske of the Attorney General’s Investigations Bureau, which is led by Deputy Chief Antoine Karam and Chief Dominick Zarrella. Legal Analyst Sara Pogorzelski also worked on the matter.
The Attorney General’s Office wants to thank the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York State Board of Elections Division of Election Law Enforcement and Chief Enforcement Counsel Risa Sugarman for their assistance.