Kruger Quits State Senate; Cops A Guilty Plea
State Senator Carl Kruger last Tuesday stood before Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan Federal District Court and quietly pleaded guilty to corruption charges that had been leveled against him and seven others last March. Early in the day he resigned his position on the Legislature. As a result of the guilty plea, the 16-year state lawmaker would have been relieved of his position anyway.
The corruption charges included accusations that Kruger accepted at least $1 million in bribes during his term as a legislative representative of Mill Basin, Bergen Beach, parts of Marine Park and parts of Sheepshead Bay. He, along with co-defendant gynecologist Michael Turano, who lived with Turano’s brother and mother in a Mill Basin mansion, struck the plea bargain that admits to at least four of the five charges leveled earlier this year.
The irascible Mr. Kruger had apparently been under federal investigation since 2007 amid allegations he accepted campaign cash in exchange for political favors. Reports in the indictment indicated he allegedly pushed through legislation on behalf of a Queens hospital that had been looking to merge with another hospital. The indictment stated he also lobbied for establishing later hours for liquor stores in some neighborhoods and state financial grants for Brooklyn real estate developers.
In 2008, Kruger became chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, allowing him a $20,000 per year stipend, but when the indictment was announced he lost that chairmanship.
Kruger, Turano and two other legislators, Assemblyman William Boyland of Brooklyn and Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio of Queens, were originally charged in the supposed conspiracy. Seminerio has since died and Boyland was acquitted of the charges just last month. He was later arrested in connection with a separate bribery case.