Thursday, March 10, 2011

State Sen. Carl Kruger, Assemblyman William Boyland, Jr. Have Surrendered

State Sen. Carl Kruger and Assemblyman William Boyland, Jr. surrendered today to face charges of selling their office for cold, hard cash, sources told the Daily News. More to follow...

Carl Kruger Complaint

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Our Ken Lovett, Greg B. Smith and Glenn Blain report:

Federal prosecutors are expected to charge Kruger, a veteran Brooklyn Democrat, and Boyland, a fourth-term Brownsville Democrat, with pocketing tens of thousands of dollars in bribes, several sources said.

Six of those who were allegedly involved in paying the bribes will also be charged, including longtime lobbyist Richard Lipsky, two hospital executives and a Brooklyn-based developer.

The two Brooklyn politicians showed up early Thursday at the FBI headquarters in Lower Manhattan. They were expected to appear before a federal judge later Thursday, and Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara set a press conference for mid-morning.

The feds have been eying Kruger since 2007 amid allegations he collected campaign cash in exchange for political favors.

Sources said Kruger took bribes to do favors for hospital executives, a Brooklyn-based developer and lobbyist Lipsky. The payoffs were funneled into checking accounts that Kruger had access to, the sources said.

One source said the feds will charge Kruger with using his influence in the Senate to push for approval of a merger involving the now-defunct Parkway Hospital in Queens.

The attempted Parkway Hospital bailout surfaced in charges filed against the late Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio (D-Queens), who pleaded guilty to corruption charges in 2009.

Seminerio died in prison in January.

Assemblyman Boyland was hired as a consultant by companies seeking influence in Albany, sources said.

Senate Democratic leaders told their members Wednesday night that Kruger would be surrendering to the U.S. attorney in Manhattan.

Kruger was at work in Albany yesterday - but he didn't tip off his staffers that he'd be facing the feds today.

"Business was as usual today," one staffer said.

Kruger's lawyer Benjamin Brafman had no immediate comment Wednesday night.

A call to Kruger's cell phone was disconnected.

Until the Democrats lost control of the Senate, Kruger was chairman of the powerful Finance Committee.

He is now its ranking minority member.

Kruger is no stranger to being linked to corruption cases.

Brooklyn restaurateur Michael Levitis last week admitted trying to bribe Kruger with campaign money for help passing a health inspection at his Brighton Beach nightclub, Rasputin.

When Levitis was arrested last summer, Kruger insisted he was the victim - and that the FBI was no longer investigating him, claims the feds strongly denied.

Court papers in Levitis' case revealed that the FBI public corruption squad was investigating allegations that Kruger and a member of his staff took cash for favors.



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