Thursday, April 26, 2012

Former Sen. Kruger sentenced to 7 years for taking $500k in bribes

Last Updated: 7:41 PM, April 26, 2012
Posted: 5:23 PM,
Carl Kruger arrives at court today

Steven Hirsch
Carl Kruger arrives at court today

Calling himself “broken, destroyed and disgraced” a Brooklyn politician who admitted taking $500,000 in bribes with the aid of his live-in boyfriend slumped in a courtroom chair as he was sentenced to seven years in federal prison.
“I have no one to blame but myself,” ex-state Sen. Carl Kruger, 62, said in Manhattan federal court — where his lover, Dr. Michael Turano, received a two-year sentence for the same “pay-to-play” scheme that a judge called “daggers to the heart of government.”
“I will be haunted with that reality for the rest of my life,” said a somber Kruger, who shared a long, lingering embrace with Turano, 50, after they each were ordered to surrender June 26 to begin their prison terms.
“I am sorry,” said Kruger. “I am sorry for bringing discredit to the New York State Legislature. I am sorry for abandoning my constituents who elected me to service them.
“Worst of all, I have destroyed the brilliant medical career of Michael Turano. I have destroyed a career I help build, and the people I love.
“I am broken destroyed and disgraced,” Kruger told Judge Jed Rakoff — who showed mercy in giving him less than the federal sentencing guideline of between nine and 11 1/2 years.
Kruger — who also lives with Turano’s doctor brother Gerard and their mother Dorothy “Dottie” Turano in a gaudy, $1.8 million Mill Basin mansion — admitted overseeing a bribery scheme that benefited the entire extended family.
The 18-year state Legislature veteran directed illicit payments from representatives of the real-estate, hospital, supermarket and beverage industries to shell companies set up by Turano, his long-secret lover.
In return, the former state Senate Finance Committee chairman sponsored legislation beneficial to the bribe-payers and tried to steer millions of dollars in government funds to them.
Assistant US Attorney Michael Boswoth, said that “year after year after year” Kruger took “check after check after check” for hundreds of thousands of bribes.
“And for what?” Bosworth asked. “To help the Turano family? They weren’t paupers.”
“The facts and circumstance of these offenses are quite venal,” Bosworth said. “This was a sophisticated crime with a sophisticated design.”
Kruger’s lawyer Benjamin Brafman argued to Rakoff, “Whatever sentence you impose, that’s a consecutive sentence: He’s never going to be able to work in public service, the one thing he knows how to do.
“A convicted felon in his 60s is not at the top of anyone’s list,” Brafman said. “At the end of the day he resigns in disgrace — but he did a world of good, and that should count for something.”

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