BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Some potentially incriminating evidence in the Steve Pigeon case will not be allowed in court. It’s a big win for the defense.
State Supreme Court Judge Donald Cerio threw out key evidence in the case against Pigeon explaining that it was illegally obtained.
The evidence includes e-mails found during a raid at Pigeon’s home in 2015. Investigators say the e-mails uncovered contained proof of his alleged crimes.
The evidence is suppressed because state investigators waited more than 10 days to execute search warrants of Pigeon’s home and office computers.
“Although the warrant was served upon Google in the 10 day period after it was issued, the documents that were received were not received until at least 22 days after the issuance period,” said Brian Hutchison, an attorney outside of the Pigeon case.
Hutchison says there’s a time limit on warrants to prove the evidence is still related to the crime. “Obviously things can change quickly and over 10 days the information the judge was presented initially to obtain that warrant may now be what we call stale.”
Pigeon is facing two cases simultaneously, one case for bribery and corruption and another for election law violations. It’s believed that the suppressed evidence will have an impact on both cases.
“That evidence cannot be used in the prosecution of the cases, so it would be either case- it would be thrown out because it was obtained illegally,” said Hutchison.
The Attorney General’s Office is prosecuting the case. In a statement they said:
“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.”