Categories for Investigations

May 12

2014

Maziarz, Gallivan spending questioned

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Do state lawmakers pocket campaign contributions for personal use? The Moreland Commission, charged with investigating corruption in state government, was asking that question before Gov. Andrew Cuomo disbanded the panel in March. A couple dozen state legislators were on the commission’s radar screen because their campaign finance disclosure reports didn’t document some expenses or failed to itemize their spending to detail precisely what they spend their money on. Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, topped the commission’s list, with about $140,000 in unitemized spending over a six-year period, according to a report published today by City & State, a magazine and website that[...]

Posted 9 years ago

Apr 30

2014

Still in charge, but under a cloud

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Chris Johnston, acting chairman of the Erie County Industrial Development Agency, recently resigned as president of World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara after sources told Investigative Post a review of some aspect of the center’s finances prompted his board to suspend him. Johnston remains chairman of the ECIDA and has the “complete confidence” of Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, according to a statement his office issued. But neither Johnston nor Poloncarz will answer questions and the chairman of the World Trade Center won’t discuss specifics of what he characterizes as a personnel matter.

Posted 9 years ago

Apr 25

2014

Council lacks initiative, independence

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The good news: Buffalo’s Common Council doesn’t busy itself passing resolutions honoring people, be they dead or alive. But like the Erie County Legislature, the Council passes few laws and makes few changes to the executive branch’s spending plans, including the chronically troubled Community Development Block Grant program. The Council’s track record the past few years reflects a cozy relationship between lawmakers and Mayor Byron Brown. Few miss the bickering of the Griffin and, to a lesser degree, Masiello eras. But critics, who include former Council President David Franczyk, say lawmakers have surrendered their independence in the process. This report[...]

Posted 9 years ago

Apr 24

2014

Erie County’s lackluster lawmakers

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An Investigative Post report, co-produced with WGRZ, finds Erie County legislators pass few laws, make few budget amendments but pass hundreds of resolutions honoring residents, both dead and alive, that have nothing to do with the operation of county government. All this, at a cost of $3.2 million a year. A report Friday on WGRZ examines the track record of the Buffalo Common Council. For more, listen to Jim Heaney’s interview with Shredd & Ragan of 103.3, The Edge.

Posted 9 years ago

Apr 3

2014

Buffalo’s decade-long dust bowl

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The Weaver family and their neighbors on Peabody Street may be the only people in Buffalo who don’t look forward to warm weather. That’s when concrete crushing kicks into full gear at Battaglia Demolition, a construction and demolition processing facility that abuts their homes in the gritty Seneca Babcock neighborhood about a mile southeast of downtown. “I can’t open my windows because of all the dust from the rock crushing,” Jan Weaver wrote to the state Department of Environmental Conservation last fall. Between 80 to 200 diesel trucks a day rumble down Peabody Street loaded with concrete, scrap metal and[...]

Posted 9 years ago

Mar 20

2014

Welcome to Pigsty City

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Buffalo is teeming with visiting basketball fans who are being encouraged to hit the town. Chippewa Street is the entertainment strip closest to the NCAA tournament action, but the city has yet to empty the trash cans, much less clean up the trash, vomit and broken glass from last weekend’s St. Patrick’s Day ‘festivities.’

Posted 9 years ago

Feb 27

2014

Cuomo’s costly Peace Bridge purchase

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  The property was a mess — contaminated, mired in debt and depreciating in value — but Gov. Andrew Cuomo wanted it bad. As it turns out, as much as $27 million bad. To buy the abandoned Episcopal Church Home, a property considered essential to an expansion of the Peace Bridge plaza, state government under Cuomo’s direction paid a premium and inherited a costly environmental cleanup. The Cuomo administration also orchestrated moves that cost state and federal taxpayers millions more. The final tab hasn’t been tallied, but it could run as high as $27 million, for a property appraisers hired[...]

Posted 9 years ago

Feb 24

2014

Heaney talks Paladino with WBFO

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Investigative Post editor recaps his recent exposé on Carl Paladino’s double standard of criticizing Republicans who donate to Democrats while doing the same thing himself.

Posted 9 years ago