Maziarz airs bid-rigging claims

Former state Sen. George D. Maziarz speaks during a press conference inside Lockport City Hall on Feb. 27, 2019.

In a surprising turn of events in the Town of Newfane, former state senator George Maziaz reportedly announced he will be challenging Niagara County Legislator John Syracuse for the soon-to-be-vacant town supervisor’s seat.

“He made a public statement in front of our Town of Newfane Republican Committee on Wednesday,” Syracuse said. “At the end of the meeting, George stood up and declared that he was running for Town of Newfane supervisor.”

After numerous attempts to contact Maziarz on Thursday and Friday, the former senator responded Friday morning in a text, “I am not going to make any public statement at this time.”

Current Town of Newfane Supervisor Tim Horanburg is not seeking reelection. He made the announcement at the beginning of January at which time Syracuse declared his candidacy for the position.

Syracuse said Friday he felt “kind of strange” talking about Maziarz’s candidacy, because the candidate had yet to talk to any of the media himself, and usually it was up to the individual to release his information to the press.

“... I’m a making a press release for my opponent. It’s kind of strange,” Syracuse said. “I’ve spoken to a few of the media people about what they’ve heard and they’ve put out calls and haven’t heard anything.”

“As with anything, I certainly look forward to what the resident’s have to say about this,” Syracuse continued. “I think I’m the best candidate running for the Town of Newfane supervisor.”

Maziarz left office at the end of 2014. He had announced his pending retirement at mid-year, amid reports of an ongoing federal probe into his campaign committee’s finances by the office of U.S. Attorney.

Maziarz pleaded guilty to a single count of second-degree offering a false instrument for filing in 2018 after he was charged with five felony counts of first-degree offering a false instrument in a grand jury indictment in March 2017.

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