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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

Thursday, November 1, 2018

New York State Lobbyist Arrested, Charged With Bribery

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Robert Scott Gaddy, 48, of Albany, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, and honest services wire fraud. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John J. Field, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, the defendant, a lobbyist registered with the State of New York, owns and operates the lobbying firm Excelsior Advocates, LLC. At various times, Excelsior Advocates maintained lobbying contracts with the Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority, and the Rochester City School District.

During an investigation into allegations of fraud and corruption involving a large re-development project in the City of Rochester, the FBI identified potential corrupt acts by Gaddy and various public officials. As a result, special agents began an investigation into the relationship between the defendant and New York State Assemblyman Joseph Errigo.

Working with an individual known to the FBI, special agents arranged for that individual to approach Gaddy about paying a bribe to Member A in order to introduce certain legislation.

On September 4, 2017, the individual met with Gaddy who and stated that he represented a wealthy client who wanted to stop the proposed development in Monroe County and was willing to pay $15,000 in order to do so. The defendant responded, “Yeah . . . yeah, no problem.” Over the next few weeks, the individual met with Gaddy to discuss and plan the bribery scheme, including the roles of Assemblyman Joseph Errigo and another assembly member identified as Member A.

On February 9, 2018, Gaddy arranged for a meeting between the individual and Errigo at Errigo’s Pittsford, NY office. During that meeting, the individual gave $1,500 cash to Errigo and $2,500 to Gaddy. On March 16, 2018, the individual gave Errigo another $2,000.

On March 27, 2018, Errigo introduced a bill consisting of the proposed legislation, which was assigned bill number A10227. The individual paid Gaddy another $2,000. On April 13, 2018, the individual paid Errigo another $2,000.

The individual paid Errigo and Gaddy a total of $10,500 to obtain the introduction of proposed legislation in the New York State Assembly, and begin the process of obtaining passage of a State law.
Joseph Errigo was arrested on October 10, 2018, and also charged with bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, and honest services wire fraud.

“The people of Western New York, like all our citizens, deserve to have representatives who act in the public’s interest, not for their own personal financial gain,” noted U.S. Attorney Kennedy. “Where, as alleged here, legislative acts are undertaken not on their merits but in exchange for the payment of bribes and in hopes of personal financial gain, then all involved in the corruption of our legislative process ought to expect to face criminal charges.”

“Today's complaint, like other recent cases, highlights a common theme: bribery crimes are fueled by greed,” said Gary Loeffert, Special Agent-in-Charge of the FBI's Buffalo Office. “A bribe is a bribe - plain and simple. Public corruption is the FBI's top criminal priority for good reason. When a person or group can buy legislation by bribing a public official, it is the community and constituents who suffer and the public official who benefits.”

The defendant made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marian W. Payson and was released. Gaddy is due back in court on December 18, 2018, for a status conference. 

The complaint is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert.

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Public Corruption
Updated November 1, 2018