BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Erie County Legislators are starting to ask questions about Western Regional Off Track Betting. This comes in the midst of a federal probe involving the group.
Terry Connors, an attorney representing WROTB confirmed the probe, telling News 4, “Western Regional Off Track Betting has received grand jury subpoenas requesting documents. My instructions from the company are to cooperate and produce the records that have been requested.”
Exactly what is being investigated, nobody will say. Representatives for the public corporation didn’t provide lawmakers any answers Thursday during a meeting of the Erie County Legislature’s Government Affairs committee.
“I know nothing,” WROTB Director of Marketing Ryan Hasenauer told reporters after the meeting.
WROTB operates the OTB locations in 15 Western New York counties, including Erie County. It kicks back part of its profits to municipalities. Erie County receives anywhere from $500,000 to $750,000 each year from WROTB, according to Legislator Kevin Hardwick.
That’s why Hardwick asked WROTB board member Beverly Mazur to answer lawmakers questions on Thursday.
“I wish I could tell you what this is about, but I don’t know,” Mazur told legislators.
“So you’re not aware of what records the FBI or the grand jury have requested?” Hardwick then asked.
“No, and if you know anything about the FBI, we probably won’t know what records they subpoenaed for several months,” Mazur answered.
Mazur noted the WROTB board will meet next week, and she may learn more details at that time.
“I can’t say whether she knows more than what she was telling us today,” Hardwick said. “I can tell you if it were me, I certainly would be asking around. If it were something with the Erie County Legislature, and the FBI were asking about us, I would certainly be talking to some of my colleagues asking, ‘What do you know?'”
When asked about the existence of a probe, a spokesperson for U.S. Attorney James Kennedy would neither confirm nor deny.