Judge tosses out emails in case against Steve Pigeon

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Emails found at the home of political operative Steve Pigeon will not be used against him in court.
State Supreme Court Justice Donald Cerio ruled the emails were obtained improperly, and suppressed them as evidence in the case against Pigeon.

This comes as a big win for Pigeon, as investigators say the emails, obtained during a raid of his home in 2015, contain important proof of his alleged crimes.

Pigeon, who is the former head of the Erie County Democratic Party, is facing state and federal charges ranging from bribery, extortion, violating campaign election laws, and illegally soliciting campaign contributions.

News 4 reached out to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is prosecuting the case against Pigeon.

“We respectfully disagree with the court’s decision regarding this technical issue and will soon determine how to best move this important prosecution forward. We appreciate the court stating that our office has proceeded in good faith at all times on this matter,” said Amy Spitalnick, a spokesperson for the AG’s office.

Spitalnick also pointed out the Judge’s ruling did not pertain to how the AG’s office executed the subpoena, but how it took Google to actually send them the information.

Federal investigators say Pigeon’s most recent charges also stem from that raid on his home by the FBI and state police.

The powerful political strategist is accused of serving as the middle man for a Montreal-based online gaming executive trying to get internet gaming legalized in New York by giving big money to a high ranking state politician.

Pigeon is also tied to a case against former State Supreme Court Justice John Michalek.

Michalek resigned and pleaded guilty to receiving a bribe.

The former judge admitted he sought Pigeon’s help to land a job for two of his relatives.

If Pigeon is found guilty on his federal charges, he faces up to 5 years in jail and a $250,000 fine.

News 4 will continue to follow this developing story.

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