Investigations

Exposés, reports
and analysis.

Outrages & Insights

Muckraking blog
by Jim Heaney

GreenPost

Environmental blog
by Dan Telvock

Tom Toles

Editorial cartoons
and commentary

Jun
09

OTB reform bills stall in state Legislature

After state auditors criticized the handling of public funds and resources at Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp., a pair of Democratic state lawmakers sponsored legislation in hopes of changing the way the public benefit corporation operates.  The reform measures — sponsored by state Assemblywoman Monica Wallace, D-Lancaster, and state Sen. Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo — were […]

Jun
06

OTB tries to stifle a critic

Jim Shultz has gotten under the skin of Henry Wojtaszek, president and CEO of the Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. Wojtaszek ostensibly works for a 17-member board of directors appointed by 15 counties and the cities of Buffalo and Rochester, but in reality, he has a free rein over OTB operations. And he’s apparently sicced […]

Jun
02

OTB paying for an army of lawyers, lobbyists

Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. continues to spend big bucks – large amounts of public money, that is – on attorneys and lobbyists.  Documents obtained by Investigative Post through a Freedom of Information request show OTB paid $333,684 to four Buffalo-based law firms between May 18, 2021, and April 1 of this year.  The legal […]

May
16

Attorney General’s inaction on OTB

Last fall, an attorney representing New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli asked Attorney General Letitia James to take yet another look at the gold-plated health insurance Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. is still providing to its part-time board directors.  The comptroller’s referral, made in September, called on the attorney general’s Taxpayer Protection Bureau to take […]

May
11

Maziarz sues OTB alleging “fraud”

Updated on Thursday, May 12, at 5:25 p.m. Former New York State Sen. George Maziarz wants a judge to order  officials from Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. to reimburse taxpayers for benefits he says they improperly obtained while using the public agency as a “slush fund, an ATM [and] a piggy bank.”  OTB leaders, meanwhile, […]

Mar
10

More OTB reforms in state legislature

Another state lawmaker wants to cut the perks for Off-Track Betting officials in Western New York. Assemblywoman Monica Wallace, D-Lancaster, has introduced legislation that would stop any OTB board member from receiving any benefits, including health insurance, not authorized under state law. Her bill would also require regional OTB offices to file annual reports with […]

Mar
04

OTB hires another pricey lobbyist

Western Regional Off-Tracking Betting Corp. has hired another Albany lobbyist, this time with strong connections to one of New York’s most influential politicians — Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.  OTB board members agreed last month to a four-month contract that would pay up to $15,000 per month to Patrick Jenkins, a longtime friend and former aide […]

Feb
14

OTB reform bills pass first test

Amid pushback from some county law legisislatures, a series of bills aimed at restructuring operations of the Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. have cleared their first legislative hurdle.  The the three bills, sponsored by Buffalo Democratic Sen. Tim Kennedy, moved through the state senate’s Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wager on Monday.  Kennedy introduced the […]