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Maffei continues attacks on opponent John Katko

Ryan Delaney/WRVO and Katko for Congress

Rep. Dan Maffei is again hitting his opponent Republican John Katko for things that happened when Katko was a federal prosecutor.

Maffei, a Democrat from Syracuse, says while Katko worked for the Justice Department, he let former Oswego mayor John Gosek off easy because he was a fellow Republican.

Gosek was arrested by the FBI in 2005 for soliciting sex from underage girls. In a plea deal, he served 33 months in prison, below the mandatory minimum for the crime, and was listed as a sex offender.

Maffei calls the deal “unacceptable,” but at a press conference, he had to defend his choice to attack Katko for making a plea deal, which is common work for prosecutors.

"Let criminals off at 1/10th? No, I don’t know a lot of prosecutors who do that," he said in response to a reporting asking if the issue was part of a congressional campaign. 

Maffei says Katko is running on his record as a prosecutor and it would be a double standard to not hold him to it.

"It's a completely legitimate issue," Maffei contends.

"He has no experience other than that, so it’s not me who is choosing the topic, it’s Mr. Katko," he said.

In a written statement, Katko criticized Maffei for attacking him and not running an issues-based campaign.

Early in the election season, Maffei publically made a call for a clean campaign. But he’s recently released attack ads on Katko and the campaign has held several media events going after Katko.