A current of corruption continues to seep from Albany.
State Senator Carl Kruger and State Assemblymember William Boyland, Jr. were arrested and charged with allegedly accepting bribes in exchange for official acts on Thursday, March 10.
“The complaint lays out a roadmap of bribery, money laundering, influence-peddling and official misconduct that is eye-opening even to seasoned investigators,” said FBI assistant director-in-charge Janice K. Fedarcyk. “The web of graft and corruption, of buying and selling influence, is not what representative democracy is supposed to look like. The FBI remains committed to rooting out official corruption wherever it exists.”
Kruger is charged with taking more than $1 million in bribes from, among others, lobbyist Richard Lipsky, real estate developer Aaron Malinsky, and health care consultant Solomon Kalish, all of whom are also charged.
David Rosen, the chief executive officer of the MediSys Health Network, is charged with conspiring to bribe Kruger, as well as with paying over $177,000 in bribes to Boyland and $390,000 in bribes to former New York State Assemblymember Anthony Seminerio, in exchange for their official acts. Robert Aquino, the former chief executive officer of Parkway Hospital in Queens, New York, is also charged with bribing Kruger.
Michael Turano, a Manhattan-based gynecologist with whom Kruger reportedly has an intimate relationship with, is charged with laundering Kruger’s bribes through two shell companies Turano established for the benefit of himself, Kruger, and others.
Kruger allegedly received money from Rosen, whose healthcare network includes Jamaica Hospital and Brookdale Hospital in Brooklyn, to secure Albany’s approval for a hospital merger. At the time, MediSys and Parkway Hospital were trying to acquire St. John’s and Mary Immaculate, two failing Queens hospitals.
It is also alleged that Kruger received bribe money from Aquino, former CEO of Parkway Hospital in Forest Hills, in Aquino’s attempt to acquire the two failing hospitals. Parkway eventually closed along with Mary Immaculate and St. John’s.
The charges against Kruger and Boyland stem from an investigation into Seminerio, who pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from healthcare executives in Queens – Seminerio died in January while serving out his federal prison sentence.
For Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, the frequency in which Albany finds itself in legal trouble should be troubling to the general public.
“Today’s complaint filed in Manhattan Federal Court describes a broad-based bribery racket reflecting an unholy alliance of politicians, lobbyists and businessmen,” said Bharara, on Friday, March 11. “Every single time we arrest a state Senator or Assemblymember, it should be a jarring wake-up call. Instead, it seems that no matter how many times the alarm goes off, Albany just hits the snooze button. Maybe this time they will get the message.”
Amid the flurry of charges against Kruger, MediSys announced that it is replacing chief executive Rosen – making him the first fallout victim of this round of dirty Albany politics. After a unanimous vote in by MediSys, Rosen will be replaced by Bruce J. Flanz, the executive vice president and chief operating officer of Jamaica Hospital Medical Center since 1980.
A spokesperson for MediSys declined to go on record saying that its more than 10,000 employees’ jobs will withstand the current turmoil.