Assemblyman Joe Errigo is charged with bribery and wire fraud after admitting to accepting $5,500 to introduce legislation.
The Republican represents New York's 133rd District, which represents all of Livingston County, the southern part of Monroe and the northeast section of Steuben County.
In a Wednesday news conference, U.S. Attorney James Kennedy stated that the legislation in question was introduced in March and involved reducing local control of a pending development project and giving review authority to the state Department of Transportation. A lobbyist suggested going to Errigo with a bribe, initially $1,500, to alter the proposed development project.
Between October and December 2017, the bribe payer and lobbyist exchanged several text messages to arrange a meeting with Errigo to give him the payment. The bribe was handed over on February 9, 2018 in Errigo's car after a meeting with the lobbyist and the bribe payer, according to Kennedy's office.
The bill was introduced on March 27; that same day, the lobbyist met with the bribe payer and received $2,000 for his efforts.
On April 13, Errigo met with the bribe payer again and received $2,000 for obtaining a bill number for the proposed legislation.
When confronted with this information by the FBI in May, Errigo admitted to accepting bribe money.
Errigo was in court Wednesday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marian Payson. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Marjorie Byrnes, who defeated Errigo in a primary to represent the 133rd District, is calling on him to resign.
"I was grieved to hear of the serious allegations that have been lodged against Assemblyman Joe Errigo. And, if true, I am angered that another one of our elected officials would view his public service as a means of lining his pockets with tainted profit," she said. "The profiteering of some public officials is causing jaded cynicism among the electorate. It must end.”
Errigo came out of retirement and was elected to the seat left vacant by the death of his friend, Bill Nojay. Errigo, who lives in Conesus, previously served 10 years in the same Assembly seat, from 2000 to 2010.