Two Democrats – a state assemblyman and a senator – have allegedly hoarded at least $1 million in bribes from a variety of constituents and lobbyists over the last five years including taking cash to block a Walmart superstore from being built in Brooklyn.
Of course, in the stories I’ve read, it takes a keen eye to figure out if they are Democrats or Republicans …. but they are Democrats. There are many others involved, including a well-known New York lobbyist.
From NBC New York.
State Sen. Carl Kruger was charged Thursday with federal corruption, conspiracy and money-laundering for allegedly taking at least $1 million in bribes from associates and lobbyists in exchange for favors since 2006.
Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. and several associates are also facing federal charges in the latest takedown of state elected officials.
Yeah, this is an ongoing thing in Albany I guess.
Kruger took steps in his job as state senator to ensure millions of dollars in state money went to development projects of those paying bribes, officials said.
The suspects set up a shell company called “Olympian” to try to hide the corrupt payments, investigators said. Kruger and Michael Turano, described as an intimate family friend, allegedly used the $1 million dollars to help pay the mortgage on a large home in Marine Park as well as a Bentley automobile.
A separate bribery conspiracy involved no-show consulting jobs where hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash was funneled to Boyland and Kruger, prosecutors said.
In all, eight people were charged, including a real estate developer, two hospital CEOs and a health care consultant.
A Bentley? No-show jobs? It’s not just Chicago politics paying well.
Kruger’s lawyer Ben Brafman said his client, a Brooklyn Democrat who has served in the state senate since 1994, is “saddened because he’s one of the most dedicated public servants.”
Yeah, a dedicated public servant who was being handed thousands and thousands in cold hard cash.
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.
Get this … Lipsky has billed himself as a crusader for small mom and pop businesses in New York City, but I guess those same small businesses need to pay to play. The Village Voice even named him Small Business Lobbyist of the Year in 2009. The blog he runs for the Neighborhood Retail Alliance has a story posted on March 9 – the most recent post – concerning the black market food cart problem in the city.
Food cart permits go for about $200 every year (or maybe it’s two years) but since the demand for these permits is high and the supply too low, the black market for these permits can fetch upwards of $14,000 to $20,000 every two years, paid to the original permit holder.
I guess Lipsky and his cronies in the State Senate and Assembly were not getting their cut. The blog author – I’m assuming it’s Lipsky – writes…
For too long local communities and neighborhood stores have been victimized by an out of control street vendor system. The chaos has gone on long enough.
Bribes for me but not for thee!