Democratic State Sen. Carl Kruger pleaded guilty to several corruption charges on Tuesday as part of a deal with federal officials. He is accused of accepting about $1 million in bribes in order to support his extravagant lifestyle in the Mill Basin section of Brooklyn with two other men and their mother. Kruger was allegedly intimate with one of the men.
As part of the scheme, payments to Kruger would be directed to various bank accounts controlled by Michael Turano, a gynecologist in Manhattan and Kruger's intimate companion.
Kruger's 16-year career as a New York legislator came to an abrupt end. Minutes before entering court, Kruger resigned from office. The State Senate wasted no time accepting his resignation as they immediately shut down his government website.
Instead of serving the people who elected him, Senator Kruger monetized his public office and served himself, says U.S. Attorney Preet Bharia in a statement. The people of New York expect, deserve and demand honesty and integrity from their public servants. We will not pause in our fight to hold New York's representatives accountable for violating the public's trust, no matter how difficult the challenges presented.
Kruger became very emotional in court. He accepted responsibility for his actions, but wiped away tears, as he admitted to his wrong doing, reported the Daily News.
Kruger and Turano were both indicted in March along with six other individuals including New York Assemblyman William Boyland, Jr., For months, Kruger denied the charges and insisted he was innocent. However,his lawyers have been hammering out a deal that would minimize his prison time. He faces up to 11 years and four months in prison, while Turano faces five years.
Assemblyman William Boyland and his chief-of-staff have also been accused of accepting bribes and kickbacks. Back in March, Boyland, also a Democrat, was arrested in connection with schemes that involved Senator Kruger and hospital executives around the city. Boyland was acquitted in bribery scheme, but was arrested again on other corruption charges. Boyland's chief-of-staff Ryan Hermon, was charged with bribery and conspiracy to receive more than $2,000 in cash. Former State Senator Pedro Espada faces upcoming an upcoming corruption trial as well.
They are elected because the people trust them. They are elected to represent their district for the great good of the citizens. They are elected because they are supposed to be held to a higher standard than the rest of the city. Corrupt politicians are clearly after money and power, but how does it affect our society and governmental structure?
Well, whether it is New York or in the United it has been going for decades, said Arthur Guarino. Guarino is currently a professor at Rutgers University and was part of a conference last year that discussed corruption in federal, state, city and local governments. Corruption in politics is a prevalent issue because it gives people a bad perception. It shakes people's faith in government.
Since the days of Tammany Hall and Boss Tweed, corruption has attacked the democratic system and the city government. Tweed could be considered the epitome of corruption in New York. He had politicians, businessmen and even street gangs in his pocket, while profiting from all of it. However, society has come a long way since the 1800s and 1900s. Guarino says that through his discussions with law enforment professionals, including the FBI, ousting political corruption is still an important goal. Guarino he definitely sees a great emphasis on stopping crooked politicians from taking advantage of the public.
But does the city elect corrupt officials or does the office make them corrupt?
You might have some individuals going in there with certain ideas and try to maintain them, says Guarino. There are others, who come in with certain ideas, who forget what their morals are and get tainted.
However, Steven Brams, a professor of political science at New York University, believes that voters are cynical when it comes to corruption. While Brams agrees there are crooked lawmakers, he believes that people are no longer focused on it. They are more focused on the personal lives of politicians.
Look what has been in the news, the sexual misdeeds of politicians, says Brams. Brams said one simply has to take a look at the current Republican primary election. The allegations into Herman Cain's past have become more of a concern than charges of bribery and pandering.
Polticial corruption is not nearly significant as it was in the past, whereas the personal lives of politicians have come to the floor, says Bram.
However, Guarino believes that while there is a large perception of corruption in the United States than there is actually corruption.
What about the other politicians who try as hard as they can? asks Guarino. He says the are lumped together with the corrupt.
My feeling is there are still people out who have good moral values, who are concerned about how government is run.