Niagara Gazette

Crime

July 15, 2014

Maziarz probe heats up as more grand jury subpoenas served

Niagara Gazette — As New York state Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, prepares to end his political career, a federal grand jury investigating his campaign finances is ramping up.

At least three current or former Maziarz staffers and campaign officials have been served with grand jury subpoenas by investigators from the Office of the United State Attorney for the Southern District of New York, based in Manhattan.

The Niagara Gazette has confirmed that investigators from U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's office have served a subpoena on Laureen Jacobs, the treasurer for Maziarz's political campaign committee, the Committee to Elect Maziarz State Senate.

Jacobs has referred reporters to Buffalo-based defense attorney Terrence Connors. He has declined to comment on whether Jacobs was subpoenaed and what investigators may be looking for, citing the secrecy of grand jury proceedings.

"There is no clear indication that Laureen Jacobs did anything wrong," Connors told the Gazette. "If she is asked for records, as the treasurer of the (Maziarz campaign) committee, she will provide them."

Jacobs is employed by Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center as the hospital's director of compliance and risk management.

A spokesman for the medical center said the health care facility itself is not a target of the grand jury investigations.

Patrick Bradley, NFMMC's director of marketing and public relations, said he is not aware of any other subpoenas having been served on other hospital officials. Bradley stressed that the investigation is not related to the hospital's finances or the inner-workings of the health care facility in anyway.

"There's no connection with the hospital whatsoever with (the Maziarz probe)," he said.

Bradley also noted that Jacobs' involvement with Maziarz takes place during her "off time" and not while she is working in her capacity as a hospital executive.

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