BATH, N.Y. (WETM) – Calls have grown on both sides of the aisle in Steuben County for District 2 Legislator Steve Maio to resign following his guilty plea to Soliciting a Person for Prostitution last week, and the prosecution is also facing criticism for its handling of the case.

In the April 25 Steuben County Legislative meeting, District 7 Legislator Aaron Mullen brought up Maio’s guilty plea and called on him to resign.

“Mr. Maio pled guilty to solicitation of a prostitute, and I think it would be appropriate for him to resign,” Mullen said. He went on to criticize the prosecution of the sex trafficking and corruption case by District Attorney Brooks Baker, adding that the case was “poorly prosecuted and vastly overcharged, and I don’t think that reflects well on our justice system.”

“I’ll resign when Mr. Baker resigns”, Maio responded.

Mullen’s criticism of Baker echoes earlier criticism from Larry Comfort Jr., one of the men who pled guilty in the case. Comfort Jr. also told 18 News that Baker had overcharged the case with 54 counts in the original indictments in December 2020.

Baker gave the following response to the criticism:

Mr Maio has the right to say whatever he chooses; my job is to prosecute crime.  I don’t know if the guilty plea that Mr. Maio accepted warrants removal from office, that is not my concern.  As far as overcharging the case.  The defendants pleaded guilty to the top count of each indictment that they were charged with.

Brooks Baker, Steuben County District Attorney

Mullen’s call on Maio to resign follows that of Joseph Sempolinski, Steuben County Republican Committee Chairman. On April 22, Sempolinski said, “Mr. Maio did not do the right thing for the people of Steuben County at that time. Now that he has finally admitted to criminal activity he needs to resign and let the county move on. His behavior has been a total disgrace.”

On April 26, Democratic Committee Chairman Shawn Hogan also issued a statement urging Maio to resign, saying “Steven Maio and his behavior have caused far too much distraction over the past two years. To serve a community in elected office is a privilege given to those who can be counted on to use good judgment and act in the interest of their constituents. Steve Maio committed a self-interested crime and showed awful judgment in associating with criminals. Therefore, he can’t represent his district effectively, and he does not deserve the privilege of serving in public office. He should resign immediately.”

Maio and Larry Comfort Jr. are expected to be sentenced in early June. The two took plea deals last week in connection to the case, a month after Larry Comfort Sr. and Jonathan Hamilton both pled guilty to various charges, as well.

18 News will continue to follow any updates with this story and provide more details as they become available.