Political operative accused of bribing judge

Posted at 10:21 AM, Jun 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-01 20:03:35-04

Attorney and political consultant Steve Pigeon appeared before a judge Thursday morning, pleading not guilty to a number of charges connected to bribing a State Supreme Court judge.

"It gave Pigeon preferential access to the court, rewarded Pigeon and his friends and helped Judge Michalek pursue a corrupt path to a higher court," Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said during a stop in Buffalo. 

Pigeon appeared with his attorney, Paul Cambria, to answer to the nine count felony complaint filed against him. Charges include two counts of bribery, six counts of rewarding official misconduct, and one count of grand larceny.  If he's convicted, he faces 15 years in prison.

Justice John Michalek appeared in State Supreme Court in Buffalo Wednesday.  Investigators said the judge accepted tickets to hockey games and political fundraisers from Pigeon while Pigeon had an interest in several civil cases before him.

A judge from the Syracuse area had to be brought in to preside over the case.  Pigeon pleaded not guilty to every count.  His bail was set at $10,000 and he agreed to surrender his passport. He's expected back in court in September. 



Schneiderman wouldn't say whether either men will face additional charges. It's also unclear if anyone else will be charged in connection to this case.