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State A.G. lays out case against Pigeon and former judge

Chris Caya WBFO News

A trail of emails played an important role in the corruption probe that snagged a sitting judge and a political insider in Buffalo this week. On Thursday, investigators detailed their cases against former Erie County Democratic Committee Chair Steven Pigeon and State Supreme Court Justice John Michalek.

NY State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman met with reporters in Buffalo after political insider Steven Pigeon was arraigned on Thursday on bribery, extortion and other felony charges.

Schneiderman says, Pigeon, an attorney, engaged in a multi-year illicit and corrupt scheme with State Supreme Court Judge John Michalek. He was charged on Wednesday with bribe receiving and offering a false instrument. Judge Michalek pleaded guilty to the felonies and immediately resigned after 21 years on the bench.  

Credit Eileen Buckley WBFO News

"It's important to recognize that most public servants are here to do their job and to do public service. Those that abuse the public trust, we will pursue no matter how well connected they are. No matter how powerful they may be. The idea of equal justice under law demands no less," Schneiderman said.

According to the Attorney General, Pigeon lavished gifts on Michalek - who in return - gave Pigeon preferential access to the court. Pigeon pleaded not guilty and he was released on bond. The A.G. says, the state and federal investigation is ongoing.