Bax Gets Two Years' Probation
By Tony Farina
We broke the story first last October that former Niagara Falls Acting Building Commissioner Guy Bax would accept a plea bargain agreement in a federal corruption probe and last week U. S. District Court Judge Richard Arcara spared Bax a possible jail term on his guilty plea to accepting gratuities entered last January and sentenced him to probation.
Judge Arcara could have sentenced Bax, 66, to a jail term of eight to 14 months under federal guidelines, but opted instead to put him on probation for two years, saying he didn’t think sending him to jail would serve any real purpose and “I don’t think it serves as a deterrent here.”
The government had alleged that Bax had accepted gifts including fishing trips and free remodeling work from contractor John Gross in exchange for steering business to Gross who is completing a prison term on fraud and tax evasion convictions. Gross is currently in a half-way house in Buffalo and is expected to be released soon.
Bax was charged as part of a federal corruption probe in Niagara Falls and said in court at his sentencing that “it has been a horror show. I’ve watched my wife cry for four years. I’ve sullied my father’s name.”
Prosecutors had alleged that Bax routinely promoted Gross and his company to businesses and people seeking city permits between 2007 and 2009, receiving perks in return.
|Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr.||www.niagarafallsreporter.com||
May 14, 2013