Sources: Former state assemblyman charged with bribery 'wore FBI wire'

February 06, 2019 06:08 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) -- The former state assemblyman charged with bribery started wearing an FBI wire after he was approached by the FBI. 

News10NBC Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean confirmed this information with two sources right before 5 p.m. Wednesday. 


The federal indictment says former state Assemblyman Joe Errigo 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 pled not guilty. 

He's 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 he came out of court, News10NBC started asking his lawyer about the wire. 

Brean: "Joe, were you aware that Assemblyman Errigo was wearing a wire at some point last year?"

Joe Damelio, lawyer for Joe Errigo: "Berkeley, you know 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." 

Brean: "But you would have been told about that I suspect if he was working with investigators to wear a wire?" 

Damelio"I would have been, yes." 

Brean: "And were you told that?"

Damelio: "That I can't comment on." 

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. 

Brean: "You said senators or assemblymen, right?" 

Damelio: "Yes." 

Brean: "So, it could have happened with a non-elected person." 

Damelio: "That I don't know. I shouldn't say that. I can't comment on that." 

Brean: "I can't make sense of it. It would seem to me if this were true, why would he be indicted? Why would he be in trouble? 

Damelio: "Good question. Yeah, I don't know." 

News10NBC contacted the FBI. 

It 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.


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