BATAVIA — Former New York State Senator George Maziarz is suing Western Regional Off-Track Betting, accusing it of misusing funds.
The lawsuit alleges that WROTB CEO Henry Wojtaszek, Board Chair Richard Bianchi and 15 directors used revenues from the public benefits corporation for their personal use.
The funds were supposed to be distributed to the 17 counties, plus the cities of Buffalo and Rochester, which make up the Western Region.
Two audits completed by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, released in September 2021, found that CEO Wojtaszek and the Board used programs meant to attract patrons to the Batavia Downs Casino by providing themselves and their friends with free tickets to popular entertainment events.
The lawsuit argues that the WROTB Board of Directors provides themselves with a premium health benefit package in direct violation of the Racing Law. The law restricts a director’s compensation to $250 per day. However, the board continues with the practice despite being advised by their own legal representative to stop the practice.
“I hope my lawsuit is a signal for legislators and district attorneys in the Western Region to bring criminal investigations into the practice,” Maziarz said.
Maziarz plans to give a press conference at 12:30 p.m. today in front of Batavia Downs.