ALBANY — Like a scene from “The Sopranos,” a political operative busted by the state Attorney General’s Office held secret meetings at his elderly mother’s house and had a campaign worker paid with grocery bags stuffed with cash, a former upstate prosecutor told The Post.
Steve Pigeon — a Buffalo-area Democrat — had a waterfront condo but the neighborhood was also home to a number of judges, so he conducted his shady business at his mom’s, according to former Erie County prosecutor Mark Sacha.
“It was like ‘The Sopranos.’ They wanted to hire this phone-bank guy to make calls for a candidate,” Sacha recalled.
“So, they go to his elderly mother’s house in a quiet suburban neighborhood in the middle of the night. This is where they agree to hire the phone-bank guy for $20,000, but the campaign account is drained so they arrange to deliver cash in grocery bags,” said Sacha, a former assistant DA who investigated Pigeon three years ago and who is now running for district attorney.
Twice, the operative was paid $10,000 stuffed in Tops Supermarket grocery bags, Sacha said.
“I’ll never forget this phone-bank guy telling me about meeting the donor [a Pigeon crony] having this ‘hoochie coochie’ girl with him,” Sacha said.
“I see no difference between these guys and organized crime, except these guys are corrupting elections,” Sacha said.
Sources say Pigeon helped Cuomo navigate politics in Western New York and backed the governor’s unsuccessful first bid for the seat he now holds.
Through a spokesman, Cuomo denied Pigeon is a close ally.
Reminds me a little of this scene in Goodfellas where the boys make a late night trip to Tommy's mother's house (sans the not-quite dead Billy Bats, of course):