Sam Hoyt under harassment investigation by State

Posted at 3:28 PM, Oct 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-31 17:01:19-04

Sam Hoyt, the former regional president of Empire State Development's Buffalo office, is the focus of a State-run harassment investigation.

7 Eyewitness News has learned a woman whom he had a relationship with filed a complaint after their relationship went sour. 

The affair was first reported by The Buffalo News, which posted an interview with the woman.

Hoyt abruptly announced his departure from ESD Monday.  On Tuesday, he issued the following statement to 7 Eyewitness News via his attorney Terrence Connors:

“I have made many mistakes in my life. Having a short term, consensual and inappropriate relationship with [complainant] was wrong and something I regret.  When I attempted to end the relationship she threatened me.  At that point, over a year ago, my wife and I agreed to a settlement to avoid public embarrassment to our family."

The settlement mentioned in Hoyt's statement is a $50,000 settlement that included a non-disclosure agreement, according to Connors.

The Governor's Press Secretary Dani Lever issued a statement about the investigation Tuesday afternoon:

"All state employees must act with integrity and respect. When the complainant made these allegations, they were immediately referred to the Governor's Office of Employee Relations for an investigation. At the same time Mr. Hoyt was instructed to have no further interaction with the complainant and to cooperate fully with the investigation. Based on interviews and evidence reviewed, GOER identified information that warranted further review by the Inspector General's Office."

Hoyt had worked with Empire State Development for the past six years.