The former assemblyman has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy, bribery and honest services wire fraud
ROCHESTER — The former state assemblyman charged with bribery started wearing an FBI wire after he was approached by the bureau, according to sources.
The Daily Messenger's news partner News 10NBC confirmed this information with two sources right before 5 p.m. Wednesday.
The federal indictment says Joe Errigo — who most recently represented the 133rd District, which includes Livingston County and parts of Monroe and Steuben counties — took money in exchange for sponsoring a piece of legislation.
Errigo walked into federal court Wednesday with his wife and lawyer. When he got inside, he listened to the charges against him and pleaded not guilty.
He is facing four counts, including conspiracy, bribery and honest services wire fraud. That means he's accused of defrauding the citizens of New York of their right to "honest and faithful" services by a state lawmaker. The maximum penalty is 20 years in prison.
When Errigo came out of court, News 10NBC started asking his lawyer about the wire.
"I can't comment on that because of a protective order that was signed by the court. I can tell you I have no information ... that my client was wired up with any public officials or anything like that. I don't have any evidence of that," said Joe Damelio, Errigo's attorney.
The indictment says Errigo was paid $5,500 between February 2018 and April 2018. The indictment says there is a video of Errigo accepting the money.
Errigo was approached by the FBI after that.
The FBI says it doesn't comment on ongoing cases.
Errigo turned himself in last October. He lost re-election in November.
He is expected back in federal court at the end of April.
Local lobbyist Robert Scott Gaddy faces similar charges in connection with the alleged incident. He is also charged with agreeing to pay a bribe concerning programs receiving federal funds and offering and paying a bribe concerning programs receiving federal funds.
Prosecutors say Errigo and Gaddy took more a total of $10,500 to introduce a bill that would allow the state to veto local zoning changes. The bill never passed.