The Public Record: Mazurek and Pigeon

by / Aug. 31, 2016 1am EST

They say a person is known by the company she keeps. With respect to Kristy Mazurek, who is running in the Democratic primary race for the 143th Assembly seat about to be vacated in disgrace by Conservative Angela Wozniak, who replaced Democrat Dennis Gabryszak—who also vacated it in disgrace—what we learn from her current and former company isn’t good. 

Kristy Mazurek is a close confidant of Steve Pigeon, who is under federal and state investigation and has been indicted on nine state felony charges relating to Pigeon’s relationship with former State Supreme Court Justice John Michalek. For his part, Michalek has already pled guilty to crimes related to the same set of facts, resigned his office, and awaits sentencing in September. 

Last week, Pigeon granted Mazurek his power of attorney so she could help him complete the sale of his waterfront condominium on Admiral’s Walk. (As it happens, Pigeon executed the document in San Diego.) Mazurek proceeded to pull the leg of the Buffalo News’ leg in an attempt to distance herself from Pigeon:

“I am not Steve’s keeper,” she said. “Just because I’m associated with someone…does that make me a bad person?”

Not necessarily, but when you have power of attorney over someone’s business transactions you are, in a way, their “keeper,” at least for the purposes described in the document. But no one is arguing whether or not Mazurek is a “bad person.” There are plenty of “bad people” who are concomitantly qualified or competent to be elected to public office. But if Mazurek doesn’t have a problem being associated with Pigeon, why did she crop him out of a picture she used on a campaign flyer that circulated last month?

(“Yes, it is a cropped photo,” her campaign manager and fellow Pigeonista, Dave Pfaff, told New York State of Politics, which broke that story. “Kristy is a candidate for state Assembly. Steve isn’t. What are you implying with this question?”)

What Pigeon might be up to in San Diego is a mystery, but the locale doesn’t seem to be an accident. Pigeon’s erstwhile protege and former New York State Senator Anthony Nanula lives there, and in 2012 he co-founded American Coastal Properties with Buffalo developer Nick Sinatra. WGRZ recently reported on the appendices to the warrants that enabled law enforcement to enter and search Pigeon’s condominium in March 2015. (Not the one he just sold, #704, but #1003, owned by tanning booth magnate Dan Humiston, where Pigeon actually lived, and where Mazurek accepted notice of a lawsuit against Pigeon earlier this year filed by the guy who eventually bought #704 for $380,000.) From Channel 2’s story: 

One of them was the search warrant in question. In it, it states the search is looking for evidence related to “Steve Pigeon’s unlawful lobbying on behalf of Nick Sinatra”.

Sinatra is a former Republican operative who is now head of Sinatra & Company, a growing real estate development company in Buffalo.

When 2 On-Your-Side reached out to Sinatra, this statement was offered on his behalf:

“While Mr. Sinatra has had previous business relationships with Steve Pigeon, he has no knowledge of Steve Pigeon lobbying on his behalf. Mr. Sinatra has no connection to the Western New York Progressive Caucus. He is not part of this investigation and has not been contacted by investigators for many months. Mr. Sinatra has never been under investigation nor does he expect to be under investigation.”  

Then there’s another document the Pigeon defense team would like the jury not to see. It is a report of a police interview with Pigeon from August of 2008. The interview was conducted by investigators from the Erie County District’s office and the FBI. 

According to the report, Pigeon acknowledges he is owner of a business called Landon Associates. Named as his business partner is Roger Stone, who Pigeon reportedly describes at the, “Darth Vader of the Republican Party.”

Seeing Landon (or Landen) Associates in a campaign’s disclosure filings is a beacon that indicayes the Pigeoning of an election is underway. Sinatra’s company was somehow caught up in the 2013 financing of the WNY Progressive Caucus (a.k.a. AwfulPAC). On August 19, 2013, AwfulPAC reported receiving $4,000 in one lump sum from Frank Max’s Progressive Democrats of WNY. Yet for some reason Max’s group didn’t report it that way, instead showing three separate donations. AwfulPAC also says that it received money long before Max’s group says it contributed it, which is truly psychic in its prescience. The money orders were supposedly purchased by an employee of Sinatra’s, who denies having done so; his name was allegedly improperly substituted for the actual purchaser, though anyone purchasing a money order for more than $3,000 must show ID. 

That Nanula/Sinatra venture may explain Pigeon’s visit to sunny California. 

As for Mazurek’s fitness for public office, her former co-worker, Bill O’Loughlin, deserves a hearing. O’Loughlin took his morning political talk radio program from WECK to Channel 2, and brought on Mazurek as a Democratic foil on the show known as 2Sides. O’Loughlin quit 2Sides, and reveals on his new radio program that Mazurek was the reason he left, that he could no longer work with her. O’Loughlin spent a good portion of his August 28 program explaining why he thinks Mazurek is not qualified for public office, which he boiled down to this: ”drunk in Albany, drunk in Georgia, lawyered up.” 

Mazurek continued 2Sides with co-hosts including current Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw, former Chris Collins chief of staff Chris Grant, and political consultant and PR flack Michael Caputo.

Meantime, there is this from Mark Sacha, the former Erie County assistant district attorney who was canned in 2009 by former DA Frank Sedita after he publicly shamed Sedita for not pursuing Sacha’s investigation into election law violations by Pigeon. Sacha, who is running as a Democrat for DA this fall, wants to know why Pigeon has been indicted for bribery but not for election law violations, probable cause for which was the basis for the warrants that led to the search of his condominium:

As August of 2016 ends, it is now a full three years since I made my formal complaint to the New York State Board of Elections and the now-defunct Moreland Commission regarding G. Steven Pigeon, Kristy Mazurek and their election law misconduct involving Western New York Progressive Caucus.

It is now clear that the search warrant obtained by the New York State Attorney General Office for a search of Pigeon’s condo in May of 2015 was based upon election law crimes alleged in my complaint.  Judge Michael Pietruszka found probable cause to believe that election crimes had been committed and the New York State Attorney General obviously believed the same.

It is now 15 months later and Pigeon and Judge Michalek have been indicted but there has been no action on the election crimes.  It is my belief that politics, party politics and election politics is effecting the timing and charging decisions made by the New York State Attorney General.  Voters in Erie County have a right to know the truth.  They have the right to know the truth now, not after another election cycle.  Attorney General Schneiderman did not cause this problem, but it is his job to end it.  If elected District Attorney, I will never allow public corruption investigations to languish without resolution.  That is my promise.