Wojtaszek Exonerated; Highly Praised by OTB Chairman

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By: Reporter Staff

Editor’s note: This story was developed with assistance from our partner publication, the Batavian 

Chairman of the Board of Western Regional Off-Track Betting addressed allegations of misconduct against President Henry Wojtaszek on Thursday, August 27th, 2020, stating that the directors could not be happier with his job performance thus far.

“Henry has been exonerated on all fronts,” said Richard Bianchi. “He has done an outstanding job. Before the COVID hit, we had record revenues and record attendance.”

Wojtaszek, an attorney and former Niagara County Republican Party boss, has been on the receiving end of allegations of wrongdoing from former State Senator George D. Maziarz.

The claims by Maziarz sparked a special investigation by the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office which prompted the directors to hire Buffalo’s own Terry Connors to investigate accusations into wrongful spending and misuse of Buffalo Bills and Sabres tickets, a company car and cell phone.

The investigation led by Connors resulted in a 380-page report which Bianchi said made it a “dead issue.”

Bianchi stated that Wojtaszek has “brought Batavia Downs Gaming to great places” since taking over for Michael Kane who retired in 2016.

According to reports, Maziarz’s allegations even started an FBI investigation, but no criminal charges were filed.

 

President and CEO of Western Regional OTB and Batavia Downs Gaming Henry Wojtaszek.

 

Wojtaszek said that he and his wife, Niagara County District Attorney Caroline Wojtaszek, have been victims of a smear campaign by Maziarz who reportedly spent $20,000 on campaign mailers earlier this year in an unsuccessful attempt to discredit Caroline during a primary election for Niagara County Court Judge.

Henry Wojtaszek said that Maziarz lashed out after being indicted in 2017 on five felony counts connected to Republican campaigns in Niagara County. Before a trial took place, Maziarz was offered a plea deal – a misdemeanor for a single campaign violation – which he accepted and paid a $1,000 fine.

Continuing a pattern of pointing the finger at Wojtaszek, Maziarz also claimed that Henry engaged in a bid-rigging scheme to help Four Points Communications win a Niagara County grant-writing contract in 2012.

According to a July 21 story published in The Niagara Reporter:

Maziarz claimed that “Wojtaszek improperly pressured county officials in 2014 to deliver the grant writing contract to Four Points.” His accusation, however, reportedly was dismissed by a special prosecutor called in to conduct an extensive investigation.

It also was reported that special prosecutor Monroe County DA Sandra Doorley “found no basis for prosecuting Wojtaszek over claims brought by Maziarz.”

Doorley was appointed special prosecutor by Justice Paula L. Feroleto, administrative judge of the Eighth Judicial District of State Supreme Court, because Wojtaszek’s wife is the Niagara County district attorney and could not investigate a case involving her husband.

Wojtaszek  stated that he appreciated WROTB “taking the time to do an exhaustive investigation at Batavia Downs” and he is looking forward “to continuing to do the job on behalf of the corporation and the municipalities it serves.”

 


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