Feds arrest NY lawmaker on new bribery charges
NEW YORK (AP) — Less than three weeks after being acquitted in a federal corruption case, a New York state lawmaker was arrested Tuesday on new charges that he sought and accepted bribes from a carnival promoter and two undercover FBI agents posing as real estate developers.
William Boyland Jr., a Brooklyn assemblyman from a long line of politicians, was to appear later Tuesday in federal court in Brooklyn on charges of soliciting more than $250,000 in bribes in exchange for performing official acts. There was no immediate response to a phone message left with his attorney.
A criminal complaint alleges that Boyland was caught on tape in April offering to arrange a deal for the two undercover agents to buy a hospital in his district at a discount and secure state funds for a renovation in exchange for $250,000. It also accuses him of accepting thousands of dollars in bribes to help the carnival promoter — who cooperated in the investigation — obtain leases and permits for his business.
Boyland expressed his desire to keep his role in the hospital transaction secret, telling the agents, "I got a middle guy, by the way. ... I gotta stay clean. ... I got a bag man," the complaint says.
Earlier this month, a Manhattan jury found Boyland not guilty of charges he took a no-show job in exchange for doing political favors for a corrupt hospital executive.
The first case against Boyland stemmed from an investigation that resulted in the conviction at a September non-jury trial of the hospital executive, David Rosen, on charges that Rosen sought to bribe Boyland and two other legislators, former state Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio and state Sen. Carl Kruger. The judge found Rosen sought to pay off the politicians while seeking legislation to protect and enlarge medical facilities located largely in poor neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens.
Boyland, 41, worked for one of Rosen's hospitals before he was elected in 2003 to the legislative post, which pays about $79,000 a year. Prosecutors alleged the hospital continued to pay him an annual salary of about $35,000 a year until 2008 — even though he never did any real work or followed rules requiring him to report the income — in exchange for helping Rosen secure millions of dollars in state funding.
The assemblyman never denied the hospital paid him a salary. But his lawyer argued that the government failed to prove his client viewed it as anything other than legitimate compensation for community outreach that had nothing to do with his duties as an elected official.
The new case arose from a separate investigation that targeted Boyland even as he was fighting the other charges, Janice Fedarcyk, head of the FBI's New York office, said Tuesday.
The charges filed in Brooklyn "are all the more astonishing in light of the fact that Boyland allegedly committed much of the criminal conduct after he had already been charged in another bribery case," Fedarcyk said. "Boyland was unaware that it was two undercover FBI agents with who he was arranging quid-pro-quo deals."
Boyland's uncle, Thomas Boyland, represented the same Brooklyn district in the Assembly from 1977 to 1982. After he died in office, his brother, William Boyland Sr., was elected to fill the seat. In 2002, the elder Boyland easily won re-election to an 11th two-year term, but resigned between the election and the start of the next session to turn the seat over to his son.
Seminerio died in prison, where he was serving a sentence since his 2009 conviction for defrauding his Queens constituents of honest services.
Kruger is facing charges he accepted more than $1 million in bribes from a variety of business people. He has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting a separate trial.