Assemblyman William Boyland, a member of a storied political family, is on trial in Manhattan federal court over corruption charges, and closing arguments are slated for Tuesday. NY1’s Josh Robin filed the following report.
Assemblyman William Boyland tried to sound optimistic Friday when he said prosecutors don’t have any kind of case against him.
Of course, they disagree. Prosecutors say Boyland steered taxpayer money to a company that runs Brooklyn's Brookdale Hospital, which hired him as a consultant.
A hospital executive accused of conspiring with Boyland was already convicted.
Others await trial in the scheme, including Brooklyn State Senator Carl Kruger. He also pleaded not guilty.
For his part, Boyland faces 25 years in prison, though serving that long seems like a remote possibility.
There's no doubt that whatever the outcome, the case has drained members of the Boyland family, who for three decades have represented Brooklyn's Brownsville section.
"Well, it's taken its toll, but so far I don't think they've proved beyond a reasonable doubt that he did anything," said former Assemblyman William Boyland, Sr.
Boyland's father has the same name and held the same seat before his son took it over in 2003. Boyland senior succeeded his brother. The younger Boyland's sister, a former City Council member, has also been mentioned in court but has not been charged.
In all, the elder Boyland called it a life in the spotlight that's provoked undue scrutiny.
"You need to have duck feathers on. You know what that means? That water just runs off of you. Because you'll get accused of stuff, things that he didn't even think about doing," said Boyland, Sr.
Meanwhile, a corruption case against another elected official begins on Monday. Last year, prosecutors indicted Larry Seabrook, a Bronx City Council member, after he allegedly steered more than one million dollars to nonprofit groups that he controlled.
Most of the charges Seabrook faces carry 20 years behind bars.
As for Boyland, while others decide his fate, he takes notes in court.
Adding to the stress, a car he was driving with his young son was hit by a bullet this summer. No one was injured, and police say he wasn't the target.
His father does what he can to keep spirits up.
"I try to stay around just to comfort,” said Boyland, Sr. “That's the best you can do at this time."