BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Former New York State Supreme Court Justice John A. Michalek, 71, was sentenced to one year and four months in jail, to be served consecutively.

Michalek was sentenced to 12 months in jail on a bribe receiving charge and four months in jail on one count of offering a false instrument. He was also given a $5,000 fine.

In July, Michalek was sentenced with his co-conspirator former Chairman of the Erie County Democratic Committee, G. Steven Pigeon. The judge stayed sentencing following an oral motion made by Michalek’s counsel.

“I have no hestitation what so ever to confirm the disposition that I imposed on July 28 and I do so today,” Judge Cerio said in court Tuesday.

Pigeon was sentenced to one year in jail to run concurrent to his federal four-month sentence along with a $5,000 fine.

“Never in my recollection has a person who has cooperated with the government , provided evidence that lead to indictments of other individuals received a sentence worse than the people that he cooperated against,” News 4 legal expert Terry Connors said.

Michalek’s attorney plans to appeal the sentence. She requested an additional 30 days before surrendering to authorities so Michalek could undergo cataract surgery. This was denied by the court.

“Appellate court could then stay the execution and say okay hold off until we take a look at it. There’s a chance he could avoid incarceration entirely,” Connors added.

In court Tuesday, the sentencing judge said the justice system must hold everyone accountable.

“It is the impact upon the integrity of this system of justice that people such as myself and others who wear this robe are required to hold themselves to the highest of standards,” Judge Cerio said.

On June 30, 2016, Michalek pleaded guilty to two felonies, bribe receiving and offering a false instrument for filing in connection with receiving bribes by Pigeon for filing false documentation with the New York State Office Court Administration. Michalek resigned following his plea.

“Clearly the fact that he was a judge persuaded the sentencing judge that he should impose a longer term of imprisonment. That worked against him and not in his favor,” Connors said.

Between February 2012 through April 2015, Machalek and Pigeon exchanged emails and text messages which revealed Pigeon was bribing Michalek to influence judicial decisions.

Throughout the time period, the pair discussed multiple pending lawsuits. Michalek shared privileged and non-public information with Pigeon so he may provide input and advice on cases. Michalek appointed an attorney, chosen by Pigeon, who was not on the court-issued list of recievers. In order to appoint the attorney, Michalek filed a document with the Office of Court Administration in which he falsely claimed he needed the specific attorney’s expertise.

Emily Miller is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2022. See more of her work here.

Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a reporter in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.