Investigations

Exposés, reports
and analysis.

Outrages & Insights

Muckraking blog
by Jim Heaney

GreenPost

Environmental blog
by Dan Telvock

Tom Toles

Editorial cartoons
and commentary

Sep
24

Calls for OTB resignations

Resign. That’s the message Niagara County Democrats are sending to top officials at the Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. after State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli this week faulted the organization for deficient oversight, poor leadership and shoddy record-keeping. However, the audits did not address a controversial health insurance benefit OTB provides to certain officials and its […]

Sep
23

Comptroller audits fault OTB

 Officials at Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. improperly helped themselves to tickets for sporting events and concerts, and CEO Henry Wojtaszek failed to account for personal use of his agency-assigned car, according to a pair of audits published Thursday by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. The audits, which confirm reporting by Investigative Post over the […]

Aug
16

OTB whistleblower files lawsuit

The whistleblower fired by Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. filed a lawsuit last week that claims he was terminated for cooperating with state and federal investigations of his employer. Michael Nolan, OTB’s former chief operating officer, is asking a judge to award him $14.5 million for his treatment over the last two years, and to […]

Apr
01

The worst governments, agencies in WNY

Western New York is saddled with a lot of bad governmental bodies and departments in need of reform. Some cost a lot of money in the form of high taxes, others are simply ineffective, and still more are outright corrupt. There are some 105 units of local government in Erie and Niagara counties — that […]

Dec
21

Fired OTB whistleblower claims retaliation

The Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. has fired its second-in-command, a whistleblower assisting federal and state agencies investigating the organization. Michael Nolan, OTB’s chief operating officer, was notified of his termination Dec. 18 when he showed up to work, according to his attorney, Steve Cohen. His dismissal is the culmination of two years of harassment […]

Sep
04

Heaney-Bellavia interview on WBEN

Jim Heaney made his debut Thursday on David Bellavia’s talk show on NewsRadio 930WBEN. Heaney and Bellavia, in a 41 minute interview, discussed a range of topics, including the M.T. Pockets situation, Mayor Byron Brown, the city’s contract with its police union, and the Western Regional Off Track Betting Corp. The show broadcast in three […]

Jul
23

A critical voice on OTB board?

The Erie County Legislature has appointed a prolific Democratic donor as its representative to the Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp.  Francis Warthling was approved in a unanimous vote Thursday to replace Beverly Mazur, who served in the role for ten years. His appointment follows nearly 18 months of controversy at OTB, including ongoing federal and […]

Jul
14

Furloughs at OTB despite federal aid

Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. has furloughed two-thirds of its workforce after accepting more than $3 million from the federal government intended to keep employees working during the pandemic. The Batavia-based OTB has been forced to shutter most of its operations since March. Its casino at Batavia Downs, the largest source of revenue, is closed […]