Former BMHA Official Sentenced in Corruption Case
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 07, 2010|
BUFFALO—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that John J. Fischer, Jr., 51, of Getzville, New York, who was convicted of extortion by color of official right on July 22, was sentenced to three years of probation, including a period of 10 months in home confinement, by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John E. Rogowski, who handled the case, stated that Fischer worked for the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority (BMHA) as the Administrator for Capital Improvements. He used his official position with the BMHA to obtain the services of a contractor doing business on BMHA projects to make certain roof repairs on the home of a friend in Sanborn, New York, work unrelated to the BMHA. Fischer admitted that he offered to issue "change orders" in pending contracts which authorize additional payments to contractors in order to reimburse the contractor for the private work. He also asked the owner of the home where the repairs were done to make false statements to law enforcement. As part of his plea agreement, Fischer resigned from his position with Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority.
"It is important now more than ever for those is a position of trust to spend public dollars properly and efficiently," said U.S. Attorney Hochul. "My office will vigorously prosecute anyone who attempts to use government funding for their own, selfish gain."
The sentencing was the culmination of an investigation on the part of special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of James H. Robertson, Special Agent in Charge, and special agents with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Rene Febles, Special Agent in Charge.