Rochester, N.Y. - (WHAM) - Defense attorneys for Joseph Errigo say he has grave health concerns and have requested a hearing that could halt - and maybe even dismiss - federal bribery charges against the former New York State Assembly member.
Errigo, 81, has lost 30 lbs. since his arrest in October 2018. He has been diagnosed with what the judge referred to as “serious health issues.”
"We need to further investigate the things we have discovered," said Defense Attorney Joe Damelio.
Damelio declined to specify the health issues, but indicated a key issue is whether Errigo is mentally able to understand the case and help his attorney.
Damelio said federal law makes specific requirements. "Does the person appreciate what's going on? Do they understand the complexity of the charges and can they assist in their defense?" Damelio outside of court Wednesday morning.
Damelio has requested 60 days to file a motion and provide medical documentation. He said he will request a hearing to present that evidence.
Errigo and lobbyist Robert Scott Gaddy were charged following an FBI investigation. Investigators said the lobbyist and bribe payer decided to pay Errigo a bribe to introduce a bill benefiting a local developer so that it could not be traced back to a different member of the New York State Assembly. Errigo and the lobbyist were allegedly paid various amounts ranging from $1,000-$2,000 for a total of $10,000.
Ultimately, the defense could move for the court to drop all charges. Federal prosecutors can oppose that request.