Carl Kruger

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Carl Kruger
Member of the New York State Senate
from the 27th district
In office
February 16, 1994 – December 20, 2011
Preceded by Donald Halperin
Succeeded by David Storobin
Personal details
Born (1949-12-03) December 3, 1949 (age 65)
Brooklyn, New York
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Residence Brooklyn, New York

Carl Kruger (born December 3, 1949)[1] is an American politician, a Democrat who represented District 27 in the New York State Senate, which comprises Brighton Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend, Bergen Beach, Mill Basin, and Midwood, among other neighborhoods found within his native Brooklyn. Kruger surrendered to authorities on March 10, 2011 to face federal charges of bribery.[2] He pleaded guilty on December 20, 2011. Just prior to doing so, he submitted a letter of resignation to the State Senate.[3] There was a special election on March 20, 2012 to fill his vacancy.[4]

Career[edit]

Committees[edit]

Chosen in a special election in 1994, Kruger is a former Ranking Minority member on the Senate Committee on Aging as well as a member of the Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections, Energy and Telecommunications committees, among other standing committee assignments.[5] In February 2007, then Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno appointed him Chairman of the Senate Social Services Committee, making him the first minority party senator to chair a committee in New York history.

Notable legislation[edit]

In 2003, Kruger joined a group of legislators suing Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the New York City Department of Education, seeking a court injunction to stop New York City from doing away with 32 community school districts and superintendents under Bloomberg's proposed reforms to New York City's education system.

Representing New York's single largest Russian-American community, Kruger publishes what is purportedly the only Russian-language newsletter printed by elected officials within New York City. Kruger also hosts a weekly program on the Brooklyn Community Access Television (BCAT) channel called Brooklyn Beat, which discusses topical issues related to the borough of Brooklyn.

In February 2007, Kruger presented legislation attempting to ban the use of electronic devices, such as mp3 players and mobile phones, in New York City crosswalks.[6]

Prior to his election to the New York State Senate, Kruger was the Assistant Director of Member Services for the New York State Assembly for a decade, as well as the Chairman of Brooklyn Community Board 18.

Kruger is one of three senators, known as the "Gang of Three", who threatened to abandon the Democratic majority elected to the New York State Senate on November 4, 2008. A fourth, Senator-elect Hiram Monserrate, backed out of the group in early November.[7][8]

On December 2, 2009, Kruger was one of eight Democrats to vote against same-sex marriage legislation, which failed to pass the Senate.[9] On June 13, 2011, it was announced that he, Joseph Addabbo, Jr. and Shirley Huntley had switched their intentions from "against" to "for" a pending same-sex marriage legislation bill.[10] The gay marriage issue has affected Kruger's personal life; Dorothy Turano, a woman with whom he was living, has a gay nephew who had cut off contact with both of them after Kruger had voted against the 2009 legislation.[11]

Controversies[edit]

Federal corruption investigation and indictment[edit]

On June 25, 2010, the New York Times revealed that the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Brooklyn were investigating Kruger for allegedly seeking campaign contributions in exchange for political favors.[12] On March 9, 2011, Kruger was indicted on charges of bribery and profiting from a hospital merger he supported.[13] According to Salon.com, "While the FBI investigated Kruger for bribery, they learned that he lived with his longtime male partner while pretending (or at least allowing people to believe) that his partner's mother was his girlfriend."[14] However Kruger denies that he is gay.[3]

On March 10, 2011, Kruger was among eight individuals (including another State legislator) who "surrendered to face charges in a federal corruption case accusing the lawmakers of taking bribes over the course of a decade in schemes large and small."[2] According to the New York Times:[2]

Kruger is accused of “receiving a stream of bribes totaling at least $1 million in exchange for taking official actions.” Among the charges in the complaint is that he shared fees paid to the lobbyist, Richard Lipsky, and then took “the very official acts in favor of which Lipsky had been paid to lobby." . . . [T]he detailed 53-page complaint portrays Senator Kruger as a lawmaker who offered a full range of corrupt services in exchange for bribe payments, performing official acts that included sponsoring and supporting legislation, lobbying other elected officials and directing state monies for the benefit of Mr. Lipsky and the lobbyist’s clients.

Kruger allegedly used the money to "bankroll a lavish lifestyle, financing a four-door Bentley Arnage and a $2 million waterfront home originally built for Anthony Casso, a boss of the Lucchese crime family."[3][15]

On December 20, 2011, Kruger pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and two counts of bribery conspiracy. He could face up to 50 years in prison. His partner, Dr. Michael S. Turano, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, carrying a possible five-year sentence.[3]

On April 26, 2012, Kruger was sentenced to 7 years in a federal prison.[16]

iPod bill[edit]

In 2011, Kruger introduced a bill "that would ban the use of mobile phones, iPods or other electronic devices while crossing streets — runners and other exercisers included."[17][18] According to the New York Times:

As it is written, Mr. Kruger’s proposal, which was first introduced in 2007, would apply only to cities with populations of one million or more. But Mr. Kruger would like to expand the bill to cover even smaller cities. Violators would face a civil summons and a $100 fine. "This is not government interference", he said. "This is more like saying, 'You're doing something that could be detrimental to yourself and others around you.'"[18]

The bill was referred to the Senate's Transportation Committee but did not see further action.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Senator Carl Kruger - Biography
  2. ^ a b c Confessore, Nicholas; Barbaro, Michael (March 10, 2011). "2 State Legislators Surrender in Corruption Case". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d Rashbaum, William (December 20, 2011). "Brooklyn Senator Pleads Guilty to Taking Bribes". New York Times. Retrieved 21 December 2011. 
  4. ^ Kruger Special Election Costs Taxpayers $1 Million Sheepshead Bites
  5. ^ http://collegedemsny.com/blog/
  6. ^ Reuters. "New York may ban iPods while crossing street." washingtonpost.com. February 7, 2007. Retrieved on February 8, 2007.
  7. ^ New York Times. "Democrats Take State Senate." nytimes.com. November 5, 2008. Retrieved on November 5, 2008.
  8. ^ Benjamin, Elizabeth. Monserrate The Odd Man Out The Daily Politics. The Daily News
  9. ^ "Blogs". Daily News (New York). 
  10. ^ NICHOLAS CONFESSORE and MICHAEL BARBARO (June 14, 2011). "In Reversal, 3 Democratic Senators Will Back Gay Marriage". New York Times. 
  11. ^ BARBARO, MICHAEL (June 25, 2011). "Behind N.Y. Gay Marriage, an Unlikely Mix of Forces". The New York Times. 
  12. ^ "Brooklyn Senator a Focus of Federal Corruption Inquiry" New York Times. June 25, 2010
  13. ^ Kenneth Lovett & Greg B. Smith (2011-03-09). "State Sen. Carl Kruger to surrender to feds on bribery charges, cashing in on hospital merger". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2011-03-09. 
  14. ^ Pareene, Alex (2011-06-14) The case for outing closeted politicians, Salon.com
  15. ^ Cook, John (2011-03-11) Anti-Gay State Senator’s Secret Gay Life Is Revealed In Bribery Indictment, Gawker
  16. ^ Weiser, Benjamin (26 April 2012). "Kruger Sentenced to Seven Years in Corruption Case". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  17. ^ S1945-2011: Restricts the use of an electronic device while crossing a crosswalk in a city with a population of one million or more January 14, 2011
  18. ^ a b Saulny, Susan and Richtel, Matt (2011-01-25) States’ Lawmakers Turn Attention to the Dangers of Distracted Pedestrians, New York Times

External links[edit]

New York State Senate
Preceded by
Donald Halperin
New York State Senate, 21st District
1994–2002
Succeeded by
Kevin Parker
Preceded by
Thomas Duane
New York State Senate, 27th District
2003–2011
Succeeded by
David Storobin
Political offices
Preceded by
Owen H. Johnson
Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee
2009–2010
Succeeded by
John DeFrancisco