ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — In a case that’s become all too familiar, two elected officials in New York are accused of using their office for personal gain.
A state senator, an assemblyman and a well-known lobbyist are among eight people charged in a federal influence-peddling case.
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A criminal complaint issued Thursday names Sen. Carl Kruger and Assemblyman William Boyland Jr., both Brooklyn Democrats.
Charges in the complaint include conspiracy and money laundering. The complaint alleges that Kruger “received a stream of bribes totaling at least $1 million” and pushed legislation benefiting a health care network. It says he directed state money to lobbyist Richard Lipsky, who also is charged.
“Every single time we arrest a state senator or assemblyman it should be a jarring wake up call, instead it seems that no matter how many times the alarm goes off Albany just hits the snooze button,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said. “When prosecutors charges politicians it should not feel like a scene from Groundhog Day and yet it does.”
Kruger’s attorney had no immediate comment. Boyland did not immediately return a request for comment left with his staff.
A senator since 1994, Kruger was the powerful Senate Finance Committee chairman from 2008 to 2010 when Democrats controlled the Senate.
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Boyland, whose father and uncle preceded him in the Assembly, has no active campaign finance records, according to the state Board of Elections database. Boyland’s 2010 re-election campaign apparently hasn’t filed its disclosures of contributors and spending, according to the database.
“Today’s arrests again spotlight the failings of New York state government and highlight the urgent need for the Legislature to pass comprehensive ethics reform — now,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose top policy goal is a tougher ethics law.
The Senate Democratic and Republican conferences declined comment.
Lipsky, a Manhattan-based lobbyist, didn’t immediately return a request for comment left on his voicemail.
Lipsky & Associates has been listed among the top 10 biggest lobbyists, according to city lobbying records. His clients have included the Small Business Congress and similar groups that fought so-called big box chain stores trying to locate in New York City. Other big clients have included an alliance of small grocery stores that had successfully fought for tougher penalties for selling tobacco to minors.
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