BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Former Erie County Democratic Chairman Steve Pigeon has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a girl about seven years ago.
Pigeon pleaded guilty to first-degree sexual abuse, a class D violent felony. He continues to be released on his own recognizance until he is sentenced on Dec. 22. Pigeon initially pleaded not guilty to a host of charges in December 2021, but some of the charges were dropped during the court proceedings.
Pigeon, 63, admitted to the crime, which occurred when the girl was under 11 years old between November and December 2016. The Erie County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release that the victim was known to Pigeon.
Pigeon told News 4’s Tara Lynch after the plea that he had no comment.
At a press conference held Monday afternoon, Flynn said Pigeon is “only going to do a year in jail.”
“I’m not going to cartwheels here about the time of jail that he’s going to get,” Flynn said. “Obviously, I would have liked to see more, but sometimes in life you’ve got to swallow your pride and take what you can get.”
Flynn said Pigeon was given the plea deal at the request of the victim and her family, who did not want to go through a lengthy trial.
“It wasn’t just the victim here. The victim’s family, brothers, sisters, other relatives were going to be witnesses at the trial as well. And the family just did not want to go through that and I don’t blame them,” Flynn said.
Pigeon will be required to register as a sex offender, Flynn said.
Earlier this year, it became known that Pigeon wanted Erie County District Attorney John Flynn taken off of the case, alleging that Flynn had a vendetta and conflicts of interest that violate his due process in court. Flynn was not taken off of the case.
In July 2022, Pigeon was sentenced to four months in prison and one year of post-release supervision in a separate conspiracy case. In that case, it was found that Pigeon bribed a former state judge and getting his son a job with former President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. In return, Judge John Michalek issued favorable rulings to cases involving companies Pigeon was tied to and attended Buffalo Sabres games in Pigeon’s suite.
Pigeon ended up pleading guilty to conspiracy and directing an illegal campaign donation of $25,000 from a Canadian businessman to the re-election campaign of former governor Andrew Cuomo who later donated that money.
Pigeon served as the Erie County Democratic Committee chairman from 1996 to 2002 and has since been a major player in Western New York politics until he began facing charges.
Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.