A New York state lawmaker from Brooklyn on Thursday was acquitted on corruption charges accusing him of using his influence on behalf of a hospital executive in exchange for taking a lucrative consulting job at a health care company.
According to prosecutors, the $175,000 job was actually a bribe to Assemblyman William Boyland, a scion of a political family from Brooklyn's Brownsville neighborhood. Boyland, a Democrat, would in turn use his clout in Albany on behalf of Medisys, a health care company.
A federal jury in Manhattan was acquitted on the third day of deliberations. He faced a possible 25-year prison sentence if convicted on two counts.
We are disappointed by today's acquittal of William Boyland, Jr. but respect the jury's verdict, and we remain absolutely committed to pursuing public corruption in Albany and elsewhere, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharaara, in the Southern District of New York, said in a statement.
Prosecutors tried to show that his consulting gig at Medisys, which runs hospitals in Brooklyn and Queens, was a no-show job. In exchange, Boyland would attempt to secure millions of dollars in state funding for hospitals Medisys operates, according to prosecutors.
Boyland's defense attorney, however, said there was nothing secret about the job and that the lawmaker was hired because of his record on health care issues, according to a New York Times report.
There's simply no evidence in this case that Bill Boyland considered his pay to be a bribe, Boyland's attorney Richard H. Rosenberg said at the close of trial on Tuesday. And there's no evidence that he took any official action on behalf of MediSys in whole or in part because he was being bribed.
The charges were part of a wide corruption investigation that ensnared a powerful lawmaker, State Sen. Carl Kruger. Kruger is fighting the corruption charges against him.
Former Medisys' CEO David Rosen was convicted in September for bribing, under the guise of consulting work, three lawmakers: Boyland, Kruger and Anthony Seminerio of Queens, who pled guilty to fraud in 2010 and later died in prison.