BUFFALO, NY - The owner of a Buffalo tow truck company and two of his employees have been indicted on federal bribery charges.
The indictment handed down Wednesday comes in the wake of an FBI investigation into whether Buffalo police officers were being paid off at accident scenes to give towing calls to certain operators.
Employees of Jim Mazz Towing are accused of giving bribes to Buffalo police officers at accident scenes in order to be awarded tows, and with them the potential of lucrative collision repair work that often goes along with it.
Mazzariello filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the city, after city officials removed him from the City's Towing list. He claimed in the lawsuit that being off the city tow list was crippling his business.
There are two unnamed Buffalo Police officers are named in the indictment. One of the officers not named in the indictment recently committed suicide. However, it's not known if the investigation had anything to do with the officer's suicide.
Buffalo police Commissioner Dan Derenda says his department is working with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's office in what's described as a continuing investigation.
An attorney for Jim Mazz Auto, Steve Cohen, says his client denys all charges and looks forward to confronting their accusers in court.
Cohen says Jim Mazz Auto has tried to bring what he calls "shakedowns" by Buffalo police to the city's attention for years.