Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

March 19, 2014

Richards indictment reduced by judge

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — BUFFALO — A State Supreme Court justice tossed two more charges from the public corruption indictment against Town of Niagara Supervisor Steven Richards.

In a written decision, Justice Christopher Burns dismissed two charges of official misconduct against Richards. The charges alleged that, from March 2002 until March 2012, Richards possessed a shotgun that belonged to the town police department and that, from October 2011 until March 2012, he had a police department-owned generator at his home or auto repair business.

At a hearing Tuesday, Assistant Attorney General Diane LaValle asked the justice to reconsider his dismissal of the charges. Burns did not indicate whether he would.

This past fall, a 28-count indictment was lodged against Richards alleging that he engaged in a scheme to steal goods and use town resources for his personal benefit over time. The state later voluntarily withdrew three counts, ceding they were past the statute of limitations.

Richards, who's been Niagara's supervisor for 18 years, now faces one charge of defrauding the government, on or after Feb. 12, 2010, and multiple charges of grand and petit larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and official misconduct.