Senecas drop political consultant after home is raided

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Pigeon WGRZ

A well-known western New York political operative has been dropped as a lobbyist by the Seneca Nation of Indians after his home was raided last week by state and federal authorities.

Seneca President Maurice John, Sr., said today it has severed ties with the firm run by Steve Pigeon, the former Erie County Democratic chairman and political insider.

The Senecas run three western New York casinos in Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Salamanca. It started with Pigeon as its lobbyist last month.

“The Seneca Nation has terminated its consulting agreement with Papi Consulting LLC effective immediately,” John said in a statement.

“The Nation retained the services of Papi LLC in May 2015. Due to the recent circumstances involving the firm’s founding partner, Steve Pigeon, the Nation has decided it is in our best interest to end this brief association.”

The FBI and State Police executed search warrants Thursday at the homes of three key political figures in western New York.

In addition to Pigeon, they raided the homes of Steve Casey and Christopher Grant, WGRZ and the Buffalo News reported.

Federal and state authorities are believed to be eying the work of their political action committee, WNY Progressive Caucus.

Pigeon is an influential player in upstate politics, including as an adviser to Tom Golisano, the Rochester-area billionaire who ran three times for governor.

Pigeon was also a top aide to Sen. Pedro Espada, the convicted Bronx Democrat who helped orchestra a 2009 leadership coup in the Senate.

Pigeon has denied an connection to the PAC, saying he was just a donor.

(Photo via WGRZ)

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