State Senator Carl Kruger pleaded not guilty Tuesday in federal court to upgraded charges of corruption. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.
State Senator Carl Kruger remains defiant in saying he's done nothing wrong.
"He never accepted a bribe from anyone, for any matter. And he never abused his public office, in any way whatsoever," said Kruger’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, outside Manhattan federal court Tuesday.
Prosecutors think otherwise and have upped the charges against the longtime lawmaker and others. Three counts have grown to 11, and now include bribery and mail fraud. Kruger, a 17-year veteran of the State Senate, is not the only one charged.
Brooklyn Assemblyman William Boyland, also a Democrat, is accused of shaking down a top executive at Jamaica Hospital, and well-known city lobbyist Richard Lipsky is charged with allegedly funneling money to Kruger through what appeared to be shell companies.
All eight pleaded not guilty to charges Tuesday.
Part of the case's intrigue rests in how prosecutors describe the relationship Kruger had with another defendant, Michael Turano. The complaint paints their relationship as one of mutual reliance and support.
Turano is said to live with Kruger in a Mill Basin mansion along with Turano's mother, Dorothy. Her other son also lives in the house, who like his brother is also a gynecologist.
Papers describe Kruger's relationship with the family as “intimate,” but Kruger’s lawyer dismissed those allegations.
“I think that's an inappropriate question at this time and we're not going to take any other questions," Brafman said.
The high number of defendants has raised the possibility lawyers will ask for separate trials, especially to avoid sharing the stage with politicians.
"I think that you can be engaged in your ordinary business and the ordinary ebb and flow of business and if you're associated with a politician there may be presumptions," said Adrian Diluzio, who represents a health care consultant accused of being a conduit for bribes and favors.
About 30,000 conversations were recorded in the probe.