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Albany Cesspool Bubbles Up Again: Latest Round Up Includes Democrats Assemblyman, & Senator and his gay lover, & a lobbyist, and more…

March 13, 2011

Albany Cesspool Bubbles Up Again

Albany Cesspool Bubbles Up Again
Latest Round Up Includes Assemblyman, Senator and his gay lover, and more…

Gay pol’s $1 mil ‘bribe’ out-rage – NYPOST.com

Friday, March 11, 2011 – Kruger’s lifestyle came into play as his supposed partner was among those indicted in the pay to play scandal…the latest to sweep an already tainted and tawdry state capital.
So much of this was known and accepted by collegues and the party.
NYPOST.com
at 10:02 AM Posted by Jeff Graham

Carl Kruger On Dirty Money: He Said It. We Didn’t. | New York Daily News

Prior to his arrest, Senator Carl Kruger was busy writing legislation to tighten reporting requirements for campaign finances to prevent the”corrosive” effect of donor money in search of favors.
Everyone is quickly fleeing from Kruger and he has been stripped of committee assigments.
New York Daily News

Kruger’s sly game of hide-and-sneak

By DAN MANGAN

Last Updated: 2:34 AM, March 12, 2011

Crooked state Sen. Carl Kruger launched a frenzied, paranoid bid to botch the FBI’s probe into his bribery shenanigans in the weeks before his bust, authorities say.

Kruger repeatedly warned his alleged cohorts — including live-in boyfriend Dr. Michael Turano — to avoid being overheard or spied upon by Manhattan federal investigators, whom the powerful Brooklyn Democrat correctly suspected of targeting him, a criminal complaint says.

During a Jan. 12 phone call — secretly tapped by the FBI — Kruger complained to allegedly dirty lobbyist Richard Lipsky…

Brooklyn Sen. Kruger Surrenders toFeds in Corruption Case

MyFoxNY : Thursday, 10 Mar 2011, 3:27 PM EST

By RICH CALDER and BRUCE GOLDING |

NYPOST.COM | NEWSCORE – New York state Sen. Carl Kruger is among eight people slapped with federal corruption charges Thursday for diverting state funds into the pockets of lobbyists and cronies in exchange for $1 million in bribes, authorities said.

“Once again I am here to report, sadly, that the crisis of corruption continues in Albany,” Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara said at a news conference. Bharara also said that “at its core, the complaint describes a broad-based bribery racket reflecting an unholy alliance of politicians, lobbyists and businessmen.”

Kruger has been under investigation since 2007 by Brooklyn federal prosecutors for allegations he performed official acts in exchange for campaign donations. Flanked by his lawyer Ben Brafman, he turned himself in to federal authorities at the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building in Manhattan at 8:30am. Kruger turned himself in with his alleged accomplice, Michael Turano, who was accompanied by his attorney. Both have been charged with two counts of conspiracy and money laundering.

Since 2006, authorities allege that Kruger, a Democrat state Senator since 1994, and the powerful Senate Finance Committee chairman from 2008 to 2010, “received a stream of bribes” totaling $1 million “in exchange for taking official actions on behalf of the bribe payers as opportunities arose,” according to the indictment.

The feds also said Kruger “solicited and received” bribes from Soloman Kalish, who is also named as a defendant, and his company Adex.

Kruger then concealed the money he had gotten by “funneling the payments to shell companies” that had been created by Michael Turano, the FBI said in court papers based on phone wire taps.

The feds said lobbyist Richard Lipsky, who is also charged, paid bribes to Kruger on behalf of clients that included a major real estate developer, beverage distributors and a supermarket retailer.

In return for bribes, Kruger allegedly took official action in the interests of Lipsky’s clients. For example, he introduced legislation to delay the start date of the law that required bottle deposits on bottled water and issued a public statement in support of a law to permit liquor stores to extend hours of operation, the feds said.

Lipsky was fired this week by The Committee to Save New York, a coalition lobbying for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget.

Committee spokesman Bill Cunningham said Lipsky was terminated “to remove any distraction.”

Longtime Assemblyman Democrat William Boyland Jr., of the 55th District in Brooklyn, was also charged. He turned himself in at approximately 10:00am.”Everyone knows that Carl has been using his post to take money for years, so this isn’t surprising,” a source said. “What’s more surprising is that it didn’t happen 10 years ago.”

Kruger has one of the Legislature’s largest campaign war chests: $2.6 million as of last July.

NY TIMES: In a Series of Phone Calls, an Ear Into a Federal Corruption Case

  • Shedding Light on Influence of Hospitals on Albany, and corruption, and cutting orners, and other truisms.
  • Former New York State Assembly member Frank Seddio told The Politicker this afternoon that he spoke with indicted State Senator Carl Kruger last week after an associate of the Brooklyn lawmaker said he helped Kruger and his top aide solicit bribes.

    “I didn’t do a thing. [Chief of Staff] Jason [Koppel] didn’t do a thing. This guy is a f*****g liar,” Seddio said Kruger told him.

    Seddio, who serves as a district leader in Kruger’s southeast Brooklyn district, has been a close ally of the Senator’s since they served on the local community board together in the early 1970’s. 

    The Brooklyn Paper has a good summary of Kruger’s involvement in the FBI case against his former associate, lawyer and restauranteur Michael Levitis.

    If Kruger resigns, Seddio, who was a Brooklyn surrogate judge before being brought down in his own corruption scandal, would be a potential candidate to replace him.

    However, Seddio said that he did not believe that Kruger would step aside quickly.

    WHY WON’T THE STATE DEMOCRATS MAKE KRUGER STEP ASIDE QUICKLY, AND WHY IN THE HECK WOULD SEDDIO, A DISGRACED FORMER OFFICIAL WHO NOW HAS A PATRON JOB FOR ANOTHER CORRUPT OFFICIAL, BE A CANDIDATE TO REPLACE HIM?

    Albany’s Hall of Shame: Corruption Ordeal Gets Worse

    Corruption crime wave strikes Albany

    By GABE PRESSMAN
    Updated 8:13 AM EST, Fri, Mar 11, 2011

    It seems that Albany’s corruption ordeal never ends. It only gets worse.

    As another round of indictments hit the state capital, Dick Dadey of the reform group Citizens Union said “There’s a crime wave of political corruption and I think crime is rising.”

    His comment was prompted by the indictment of two legislators, Sen. Carl Kruger and Assemblyman William Boyland, both of Brooklyn, with bribery and conspiracy charges…

    WSJ NY POLITICS -MARCH 11, 2011

    Eight Charged in Albany Bribery Scheme

    Charges Threaten to Topple Careers of Lawmakers and

    By JACOB GERSHMAN and MICHAEL HOWARD SAUL

    Manhattan federal prosecutors on Thursday accused two state legislators, a veteran lobbyist and the head of a $1 billion hospital network in a wide-ranging influence-peddling scheme.

    CARL1

    Associated PressState Sen. Carl Kruger, left, and his attorney Benjamin Brafman.

     
    The allegations, which stemmed from an earlier probe that sent a state lawmaker to prison, is the latest wave of corruption charges to spread over Albany.

    But the breadth of mischief described by prosecutors was eye-opening, involving interests from hospitals to beverage companies.

    State Sen. Carl Kruger and Assemblyman William Boyland Jr., both Democrats from Brooklyn, surrendered in Manhattan Federal Court. Six others, including the chief executive of MediSys, a network that includes several hospitals and one of the largest Medicaid managed care plans in the city, were charged in the alleged scheme.

    ‘An Unholy Alliance’

    Two state lawmakers and six others were charged Thursday in a bribery scheme that Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara called ‘an unholy alliance of politicians, lobbyists, and businessmen.’ Here are some key points:

    • State Sen. Carl Kruger, a Brooklyn Democrat, was charged with accepting more than $1 million in bribes from prominent New York lobbyist Richard Lipsky and two others.
    • In exchange, prosecutors say, Mr. Kruger lent his support to a number of initiatives, from retail developments to beer pricing.
    • The head of a hospital network was accused of conspiring to bribe Mr. Kruger and Brooklyn Assemblyman William Boyland Jr..

    The defendants also included Richard Lipsky, a lobbyist and blogger best known for his trenchant critiques of the Bloomberg administration. Prosecutors say he was at the center of a bribery ring with a money trail that led straight to his home, where FBI agents found $102,000 squirreled away in his closet and $4,000 in “crisp” bills in his suit pocket.

    “The crisis of corruption continues in Albany,” said Preet Bharara, the Manhattan U.S. Attorney, whose office has convicted four state lawmakers of corruption since 2005.

    The case arose out of an earlier corruption probe of former Queens assemblyman, Anthony Seminerio, who died in January in federal prison.

    Mr. Kruger and Mr. Boyland, like Mr. Seminerio, were charged with taking bribes from David Rosen, CEO of Queens-based MediSys Health Networks.

    But the case spread beyond the health-care industry.

    Mr. Lipsky was accused of funneling roughly $252,000 of his lobbying fees to Mr. Kruger in exchange for the senator’s help on a variety of issues affecting his clients, which included retailers and unions, supermarkets, beverage distributors, and developer Forest City Ratner. The complaint detailed a conversation caught on wiretap between a Forest City executive and Mr. Kruger about securing state money for development projects. The company was not accused of any wrongdoing.

    At the time the agents were searching Mr. Lipsky’s home, 26 calls were placed from Mr. Kruger’s phone to Mr. Lipsky’s phone every few minutes from roughly 9:55 a.m. until 12:25 p.m., according to a complaint.

    Mr. Lipsky allegedly funneled money to Mr. Kruger through bank accounts connected to an intimate friend of the senator, Dr. Michael Turano, a gynecologist from Mill Basin who was also charged.

    Another of Mr. Lipsky’s clients, John Catsimatidis, the supermarket mogul who operates the Gristedes chain, said Mr. Lipsky called him Wednesday night. “He said he was in trouble,” Mr. Catsimatidis recounted.

    Mr. Kruger, a veteran lawmaker who controlled the Senate’s Finance Committee as recently as last year, is accused of soliciting bribes from Mr. Rosen and Robert Aquino, another defendant who ran the now-defunct Parkway Hospital in Queens. The hospital executives both wanted Mr. Kruger to help them gain control of two other bankrupt hospitals in Queens.

    Prosecutors said a consultant, Solomon Kalish, was the conduit between Mr. Kruger and MediSys.

    Seminerio tried to extort bribes from Mr. Aquino, who refused to pay him. Instead, according to prosecutors, Mr. Aquino steered money to Mr. Kruger, using Mr. Kalish as a middle-man.

    Mr. Rosen allegedly bought off Mr. Boyland, the son of a former assemblyman and sister of a former city council member, with a no-show consulting job that paid him $177,000. In exchange, according to the complaint, the lawmaker lobbied for money and tried to arrange a meeting with the state health commissioner.

    Another defendant, Aaron Malinsky, was accused of bribing Kruger in connection with a Brooklyn development project.

    —Eliot Brown and Chris Herring contributed to this article.
    Seperated at birth?
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    N.Y. Post State Editor Sees Cuomo’s ‘First Major Blunder, On Ethics;’ Offers Advice

     

     
    SIDE NOTES:

    Ball Seeks To Strip Convicted Politicians Of Pensions

    Posted by: Joseph Spector – Posted in Uncategorized on Mar 11, 2011

    Sen. Greg Ball, R-Patterson, Putnam County, is in his Brewster district today to talk about his legislation that would strip convicted politicians and public officials of their pensions.

    The bill would amend the Retirement and social Security Law to let prosecutors get permission from the courts to force the state to forfeit the pensions of convicted politicians. The language is slightly different than other bills because it would put the onus on the courts to strip state pensions, not the state or the comptroller’s office.

    For example, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli recently introduced legislation that would install a pension penalty of up to twice the amount the official received in committing the job-related felony. It would only affect future retirees because the state constitution prohibits any diminishment of retirement benefits for current officials and public servants.

    But Ball’s legislation, which does not have a sponsor yet in the Assembly after it was introduced last week, would seek to have the courts strip troubled politicians of their pensions.

    “Corrupt public officials should not be supported by the taxpayers they have defrauded. The state should not have to pay for someone who did not carry out lawfully the position they were trusted with,” he said.

    Libous: Scandal Could Impact Ethics Debate

    Posted by: Nick Reisman – Posted in Uncategorized on Mar 10, 2011

    Sen. Thomas Libous, R-Binghamton, said today that the new corruption charges for Sen. Carl Kruger and Assemblyman William Boyland could shape the ethics legislation in the Legislature.

    “What I said earlier on ethics reform, but I’m not sure it would stop this or stop anyone from their corrupt activities,” Libous said. “It certainly is going to make us think hard about what type of ethics reform the Senate and the Assembly pass.”

    He added that the flood of corruption cases in state government does little to help the reputation of the Legislature.

    “It’s not a good thing, it doesn’t make us happy, it doesn’t make me happy,” Libous said. “It’s disappointing and it certainly somehow has to be policed.”

    ANOTHER NEW LOW FOR DEMS  State GOP Chairman Calls for Immediate Resignation of Kruger, Boyland

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASETBasile@NYGOP.org

    Albany, NY…March 11, 2011-New York State Republican Chairman Ed Cox released the following statement today in reaction to the sweeping Federal investigation accusing Democrat State Senator Carl Kruger and Democrat Assemblyman William Boyland of a complex $1million bribery and money laundering scheme:

     “It seems that next to producing higher taxes, Democrats in Albany are best at producing shocking headlines that damage the reputation of our government and our state.  After several years of one sensational Democrat scandal after another, one can only wonder how deep the rabbit hole goes here.   As a senior member of the Democrat leadership in the State Senate, Senator Kruger had an enormous influence over legislation and policy.  This kind of pay to play is the worst kind of behavior for a public official.  

    It is clear from the information released by the US Attorney’s Office, that an extensive investigation has been undertaken into Sen. Kruger and Assemblyman Boyland’s actions.  Such charges make it impossible for either to execute their responsibilities effectively and continue in a position of public trust.  After violating the public’s confidence, both Democrat officials should resign immediately.  

    The Senate Democrat Conference, which until recently also included close Kruger associate Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, has been a sad commentary highlighting dysfunction and corruption.  We now add yet another name to the list of others including Espada, Sampson and Smith whose ethics and values are at best out of step with New Yorkers starving for leadership and at worst downright criminal.

    Additionally, it is an outrage that Senate Democratic Campaign Committee Chairman Senator Michael Gianaris is refusing to return almost half a million dollars in dirty campaign contributions from Senator Kruger to the committee. Gianaris’ response that it’s too late because the money was spent, rings hollow with every New Yorker who is repulsed by Kruger’s allegedly illegal fund raising tactics.

    Fortunately, voters in 2010 returned Republicans to the Senate leadership to help end our fiscal crisis, create an environment that will bring jobs back to New York and, ultimately restore faith in State government.”

     

    By Azi Paybarah March 11, 2011 | 3:17 p.m

    Some daylight is emerging between Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York Post State Editor Fred Dicker – undoubtedly one of the most important voices in Albany. (OR SO HE BELIEVES HIMSELF TO BE ANYHOW)

    The critique arose in response to how Cuomo reacted to news that two Democratic lawmakers were swept up in a corruption and bribery probe from the US Attorney and FBI. Upon news of State Senator Carl Kruger and Assemblyman William Boyland’s arrest, Cuomo’s office released a statement saying what the governor has said before: pass the ethics legislation or face the wrath of a Moreland Commission.

    Dicker called the move Cuomo’s “first major blunder since taking office” and suggests a more aggressive approach.” I write that he should act more rapidly, more immediately, and maybe even on Monday call a public leaders’ meeting with Speaker Silver and Senator Skelos and, out in the open, discuss why they’re not moving right now to pass the toughest ethics law ever in New York,” Dicker said on his radio show this morning. Later, in the hour-long show,

    Dicker said Cuomo “appears to be desirous now of waiting until after the budget is done, and maybe a couple of other things are done before finally joining the issue of ethics reform.” Cuomo’s office did not have a comment on Dicker’s story. Overall, the comments from Dicker are still incredibly mild, especially when compared to the kinds of things he’s said about other governors.

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