Niagara Gazette

October 2, 2013

Media reports say Town of Niagara supervisor has been indicted

Staff reports
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Longtime Town of Niagara Supervisor Steven Richards has been indicted on state charges, according to multiple media reports Wednesday night.

Agents from the FBI and representatives from the New York State Attorney General's Office have been investigating an "ongoing matter" in the Town of Niagara since March 2012. Agents have made multiple visits to Niagara town hall as recently as August.

A grand jury probe involving numerous town employees, recently concluded according to Gazette sources.

Richards' attorney, Rodney O. Personius, said earlier this week that he had not heard anything from the state attorney general's office following the conclusion of the grand jury probe.

An FBI official would not comment on the case Wednesday night. Officials from the state attorney general's office were unavailable for comment.

The state charges involve allegations of illegal use of town workers, town materials and town equipment, according to anonymous sources who spoke to the Buffalo News.

Richards, who was first elected supervisor in 1995 has confirmed that he's met with federal and state agents during the probe.

The FBI confirmed in March 2012 that federal agents and representatives from the state attorney general's office started conducting interviews with several town officials as part of an “ongoing matter.”

Richards confirmed that he spent a couple of hours with federal an state investigators during a private meeting on March 18, 2012. At the time, Richards would confirm only that the meeting was held at the FBI's request to discuss "town business.”

Richards declined to discuss anything more about the meeting, but did indicate that he expected to hear from FBI agents again. 

In May 2012, town council members Rob Clark and Marc Carpenter confirmed that they had been interviewed separately by the FBI several weeks after agents first visited town hall. Both declined to discuss the specific nature of those discussions, saying only that they were cooperating with federal and state authorities.