NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Just two days after Brooklyn Assemblyman William F. Boyland Jr. was arrested on new corruption charges, his chief of staff has been charged with bribery and conspiracy.
A release from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Eastern District of New York announced the unsealing of a complaint charging Ryan N. Hermon with “bribery and conspiracy to solicit more than $250,000 in exchange for performing official acts for the bribe payers.”
Hermon, 33, was arrested on Thursday. The criminal complaint against her charges that she, Assemblyman Boyland and others conspired to solicit and accept bribes from an unnamed carnival promoter, referred to by officials as “CW” and two undercover FBI agents, who they believed to be businessmen and real estate developers.
The complaint states that Hermon is also being charged with bribery for soliciting and accepting several thousand dollars in cash bribes from one of the FBI agents in exchange for taking official actions as opportunities arose on behalf of CW’s carnivals.
Justice Department officials said that in February of 2011, Hermon told one of the FBI agents that she was a member of the team assigned to work on “CW’s” carnivals.
Officials said that on February 24 of this year, “CW” met with Hermon and another member of Boyland’s staff to discuss what it needed from Assemblyman Boyland’s office.
At the recorded meeting, Hermon allegedly asked “CW” whether she would be paid for her work, saying “[W]e are not making any money. Are we getting some money for this?”
When “CW” responded in the affirmative, officials said that Hermon asked “Are we getting money or are you giving it to my boss?” and allegedly went on to say “[M]y check can go to my business needs.”
Hermon is also being accused of soliciting and taking a $1,000 cash bribe from one of the FBI agents at a Manhattan restaurant.
During that meeting, officials said the FBI agent discussed what was needed from Boyland’s office for the carnivals.
When the agent suggested that a call from from Hermon would carry “more weight” than calls from other staffers, Hermon allegedly said “absolutely, it does.”
During the same meeting, officials say Hermon once again voiced that she would like to be paid for her work and allegedly said “I wouldn’t mind…eating some steak or potatoes.”
The FBI agent then offered to give her a “down payment.”
Officials released this excerpt from the recorded meeting:
FBI Agent: I can even make a down payment today if you like, or check or cash or whatever you like.
Hermon: I would love that.
FBI Agent: Okay, good.
Hermon: Are you serious?
FBI Agent: Yeah, oh yeah. I come prepared for all–
Hermon: Oh my God!
FBI Agent: I come prepared for all contingencies.
Hermon: You just, like, made me hot.
At the end of the lunch, the FBI agent paid Hermon $1,000 in cash, officials said.
Furthermore, Justice Department officials said that “CW” met with Hermon at Boyland’s district office, where Hermon gave the company five signed letters that she prepared. Those letters expressed Boyland’s support for “CW” and the carnivals that the company purported to be promoting.
Officials also said Hermon accepted another $1,000 cash bribe from an FBI undercover on March 31 of this year.
Boyland was arrested on Tuesday after prosecutors outlined a relationship Boyland, 41, developed with the aforementioned undercover FBI agents, who allegedly bribed him repeatedly.
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