BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - James Mazzariello, Jr. is free on his own recognizance after pleading not guilty to a federal charge of conspiracy to pay bribes to Buffalo Police officers to help his towing business.
His shop, Jim Mazz Auto, was raided last year by the FBI. The indictment alleges that Mazzariello, his son Adam, and employee Christopher Mahoney were making cash payments to police officers.
In exchange, those officers allegedly failed to radio dispatch and called Jim Mazz Auto instead, stopped other tow truck companies from working at a scene, and encouraged accident victims to use Jim Mazz Auto.
But Mazzariello says it was he who first reported the corruption in the city's tow truck industry to authorities, and says these charges amount to retaliation against him for bringing the bribes to light.
His son Adam and Christopher Mahoney also pleaded not guilty in court on Thursday.
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