Thursday, March 10, 2011
State Sen. Carl Kruger, Assemblyman William Boyland to surrender to feds on bribery charges
State Sen. Carl Kruger, one of the most powerful players in Albany, and Assemblyman William Boyland are expected to surrender Thursday to face charges in a long-running, broad-reaching bribery conspiracy, sources told the Daily News.
Federal prosecutors are expected to charge Kruger, a veteran Brooklyn Democrat, with using his clout as a public official to line his pockets, several sources said. Several of those who allegedly paid the bribes will also be charged.
Boyland, also a Brooklyn Democrat, was hired as a consultant by companies seeking influence in Albany, sources said.
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 a lobbyist, Richard 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.
Senate Democratic leaders told their members on Wednesday night that Kruger would be surrendering to the U.S. attorney in Manhattan.
Kruger was at work in Albany on Wednesday - but he didn't tip off his staffers that he'd be facing the feds on Thursday.
"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