Western New York State Senator Rob Ortt and former Senator George Maziarz were indicted Thursday in Albany County Court accused by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office of filing false instruments.
The AG's office claims Ortt's wife, a graphic designer, was paid $21,500 from 2010-2014 despite performing no actual work. Ortt, a Republican, was North Tonawanda Mayor at the time. Schneiderman's office says he participated in the effort to "pad his taxpayer-funded salary."
"“No-show jobs and secret payments are the lifeblood of public corruption. New Yorkers deserve full and honest disclosures by their elected officials — not the graft and shadowy payments uncovered by our investigation. These allegations represent a shameful breach of the public trust — and we will hold those responsible,” said Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.
Ortt was adamant in his innocence, as you can see from our clip below.
Also charged was former longtime Republican Senator George Maziarz, Ortt's predecessor. He is alleged to have "orchestrated a multilayered pass-through scheme" that enabled him to use money from his campaign committe, as well as his local county GOP committee, to pay a former staffer who left government work amid sexual harassment charges. Maziarz lawyers denied the charges.
Both are set to appear in court again on May 8.