Maziarz lawsuit vs. WROTB 'voluntarily dismissed'
Former State Sen. George Maziarz has ended his lawsuit against the Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp.
On Monday of this week, a “Notice of CPLR 3217 Voluntary Discontinuance” was filed in the Erie County Supreme Court, with pertinent wording as follows:
Please take notice that the Complaint in this case is voluntarily dismissed pursuant to CPLR 3217, without prejudice.
According to New York State Law, CPLR 3217 (a) CPLR 3217 (a) allows a brief window for a plaintiff to withdraw, or voluntarily discontinue, an action, without requiring either a stipulation of any appearing parties or leave of court. Plaintiff needs to serve a notice of discontinuance on all parties before a responsive pleading is served or within twenty days of the service of the complaint.
Contacted by email today through a representative of his, Maziarz replied, “My lawsuit against Western Regional Off-Track Betting has been voluntarily withdrawn at the request of a law enforcement agency.” He had no further comment.
In May, Maziarz, who represented Niagara County in the State Senate from 1995-2014, took legal action against WROTB and its leadership, following up on a state Comptroller’s Office report that officials of the public benefit company misused tickets to sporting events and concerts and provided gold-plated health insurance policies to appointed board members.
Maziarz was suing to have funds returned to WROTB’s 17 member municipalities, including Genesee County.
Attorneys for WROTB proceeded to file a motion to dismiss prior to a ruling. Earlier this month, the state Supreme Court Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department, upheld a March 25, 2021 decision by (then) Genesee County Supreme Court Justice Charles N. Zambito that Maziarz was not entitled to attorney’s fees and litigation costs incurred during a Freedom of Information Law proceeding to gain records from WROTB.
The Batavian reached out this afternoon to WROTB President/CEO Henry Wojtaszek for his reaction to the lawsuit’s dismissal.
“As we said when it was filed, this was a frivolous lawsuit and a publicity stunt. We were very confident that it would be dismissed, and it has been,” he said. “We are very happy that Batavia Downs continues to generate increased revenues and that we are able with to return that money to our member municipalities at a record level.”
Wojtaszek added that he and the WROTB board view the dismissal “as an attempt (by Maziarz) to limit his embarrassment in regard to the frivolous lawsuit.”
Maziarz was represented by Advocates for Justice, New York City, while WROTB was represented by Hodgson Russ LLP of Buffalo.
File photo of George Maziarz taken by Howard Owens.