For the first time, an on-the-record connection has been made in the Joseph Errigo bribery scandal.
Daniele Management and Development filed a lawsuit against the Livingston County lawmaker and Joe Rittler, a Monroe County Democratic Party operative, who the complaint claims convinced Errigo to take the $10,500 bribe.
The U.S. Attorney's Office charged Errigo with bribery in October. The assemblyman is accused of taking the bribe in exchange for introducing legislation. The bill Errigo sponsored gave the State Department of Transportation authority to decide on zoning bonuses or incentives adopted by town boards.
Only one project in all of the Rochester area would be impacted by that proposed law: the Whole Foods store in Brighton.
The Daniele family, who spearheaded the project, now seeks more than $650,000 in lost business damages and the developers say they will prove Errigo drove the bill to keep them from building the site.
Rittler has not been criminally charged. However, the Daniele lawsuit claims to have a witness who will say Rittler admitted to doing work in opposition to the Whole Foods project.
Nine other people, all listed as John Does in the complaint, will be named in the suit. The Danieles claim the group conspired against them and that Errigo and Rittler did not act alone.
Spectrum News reached out to attorneys for Daniele Management, Errigo and Rittler but did not immediately hear back.