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 byDonald Halperin
Succeeded byDavid Storobin
Personal details
Born (1949-12-03) December 3, 1949 (age 69)[1]
Brooklyn, New York
NationalityAmerican
Political partyDemocratic
ResidenceBrooklyn, New York

Carl Kruger (born December 3, 1949) is an American politician from New York. A Democrat, he represented District 27 in the New York State Senate, which comprises Brighton Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend, Bergen Beach, Mill Basin, Midwood, and other neighborhoods found within his native Brooklyn.

Kruger was first elected to the State Senate in 1994 and later became Chair of the Senate Finance Committee. In December 2011, he resigned from the State Senate and pleaded guilty to federal charges related to bribery. In 2012, Kruger was sentenced to seven years in prison.

New York State Senate career[edit]

First elected to the New York State Senate in a 1994 special election,[2] Kruger represented Senate District 27 in Brooklyn.[3] Kruger is a former Ranking Minority Member of the Senate Committee on Aging. Kruger also served on the Senate Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections Committee; the Senate Energy and Telecommunications committee, and other standing committees.[4] In February 2007, then-Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno--a Republican--appointed Kruger Chair of the Senate Social Services Committee,[5] making him the first minority party senator to chair a committee in New York history.[6] Kruger later chaired the powerful Senate Finance Committee.[7][8]

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.[citation needed]

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.[9]

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.[10][11]

On December 2, 2009, Kruger was one of eight Democrats to vote against a same-sex marriage bill that failed to pass the Senate.[12] 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.[13] Kruger voted in favor of the Marriage Equality Act on June 24, 2011; the bill passed the Senate and was signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.[14]

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."[15][16] 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 wanted to expand the bill to cover even smaller cities. Violators would have faced 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.'"[16]

The bill was referred to the Senate's Transportation Committee but did not see further action.[17]

Federal prosecution and guilty plea[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.[18] On March 9, 2011, Kruger was indicted on charges of bribery and profiting from a hospital merger he supported.[19] On March 10, 2011, Kruger was among eight individuals (including William Boyland Jr., another New York State Assemblyman) 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."[20] According to The New York Times:[20]

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."[21][22]

On December 20, 2011, Kruger pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and two counts of bribery conspiracy.[23] He faced up to 50 years in prison. Michael Turano, a co-conspirator described as Kruger's "secret longtime companion,"[24] pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery[23] and was sentenced to two years in prison.[25]

On April 26, 2012, Judge Jed S. Rakoff sentenced Kruger to seven years in federal prison.[26]

Personal life[edit]

Kruger has stated that he was raised by his mother, a single parent, in a low-income environment.[27] He has further indicated that his mother attempted to give him up for adoption as an infant, but that his potential adoptive parents changed their minds and sent him back to his mother.[28]

Kruger is a close friend of the Turano family, which includes longtime Democratic activist Dorothy Turano and her sons, Michael and Gerard Turano.[29] The gay marriage issue affected Kruger's personal life; Dorothy Turano has a gay nephew who cut off contact with both her and Kruger after Kruger voted against a 2009 same-sex marriage bill.[30] Kruger voted in favor of same-sex marriage in 2011.

The New York Post has described Michael Turano as Kruger's "secret longtime companion."[31] According to Salon.com, as they investigated Kruger for bribery, the FBI "learned that he lived with his longtime male partner [Michael Turano] while pretending (or at least allowing people to believe) that his partner's mother [Dorothy Turano] was his girlfriend."[32] Kruger has publicly denied being gay;[33][34] however, the federal government produced wiretap evidence of "nearly daily" contact between the two men, including "baby talk" and a reminiscence by Turano of Kruger's declaration of love for him.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Senator Carl Kruger - Biography
  2. ^ El-Ghobashy, Tamer (December 21, 2011). "Senator Admits Bribery Charges". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  3. ^ https://www.wnyc.org/story/204561-carl-kruger/
  4. ^ http://collegedemsny.com/blog/
  5. ^ Desio, John (February 28, 2007). "Serrano: Kruger's Committee Chair Means Dems Moving In The Right Direction". NYPress.com. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  6. ^ Gray, Geoffrey (January 8, 2012). "King Carl of Canarsie". New York Magazine. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  7. ^ Tracy, Thomas (January 14, 2009). "Kruger gets coveted Finance post-Becomes 3rd highest-paid state senator". Brooklyn Daily. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  8. ^ Benjamin Weiser, Former State Senator Is Sentenced to 7 Years in Vast Bribery Case, The New York Times (April 26, 2012).
  9. ^ Reuters. "New York may ban iPods while crossing street." washingtonpost.com. February 7, 2007. Retrieved on February 8, 2007.
  10. ^ Confessore, Nicholas; Hakim, Danny (November 4, 2008). "Democrats Take State Senate". The New York Times (blog). Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  11. ^ Benjamin, Elizabeth. Monserrate The Odd Man Out Archived 2012-06-16 at the Wayback Machine The Daily Politics. New York Daily News (blog)
  12. ^ "Blogs". Daily News. New York. Archived from the original on 2011-08-07.
  13. ^ Confessore, Nicholas; Barbaro, Michael (June 14, 2011). "In Reversal, 3 Democratic Senators Will Back Gay Marriage". The New York Times (blog).
  14. ^ https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2011/a8354
  15. ^ 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
  16. ^ a b Saulny, Susan; Richtel, Matt (January 26, 2011). "States' Lawmakers Turn Attention to the Dangers of Distracted Pedestrians". The New York Times. p. A12. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  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. ^ Hakim, Danny; Sulzberger, A.K. (June 26, 2010). "Brooklyn Senator a Focus of Federal Corruption Inquiry". The New York Times. p. A10. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  19. ^ Lovett, Kenneth; Smith, Greg B. (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.
  20. ^ a b Confessore, Nicholas; Barbaro, Michael (March 10, 2011). "Graft Charges Depict Kruger's Lavish Lifestyle". The New York Times. p. A1. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  21. ^ Rashbaum, William K.; Weiser, Benjamin (December 20, 2011). "Brooklyn Senator Expected to Plead Guilty in Corruption Case". The New York Times. p. A26. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  22. ^ Cook, John (2011-03-11) Anti-Gay State Senator’s Secret Gay Life Is Revealed In Bribery Indictment Archived March 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Gawker
  23. ^ a b c Rashbaum, William K. (December 21, 2011). "After Resigning, Brooklyn Senator Pleads Guilty to Taking Bribes". The New York Times. p. 30. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
  24. ^ Golding, Bruce (December 20, 2011). "State Sen. Carl Kruger and his partner plead guilty in corruption probe". New York Post. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  25. ^ Margolin, Josh (27 June 2012). "Officials cellblock Carl & lover's hopes". New York Post. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  26. ^ Weiser, Benjamin (27 April 2012). "Ex-State Senator Receives 7-Year Term in Bribery Case". The New York Times. p. A21. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  27. ^ Gray, Geoffrey (January 8, 2012). "King Carl of Canarsie". New York Magazine. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  28. ^ Gray, Geoffrey (January 8, 2012). "King Carl of Canarsie". New York Magazine. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  29. ^ Gray, Geoffrey (January 8, 2012). "King Carl of Canarsie". New York Magazine. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  30. ^ Barbaro, Michael (June 26, 2011). "Behind N.Y. Gay Marriage, an Unlikely Mix of Forces". The New York Times. p. A1.
  31. ^ Golding, Bruce (December 20, 2011). "State Sen. Carl Kruger and his partner plead guilty in corruption probe". New York Post. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  32. ^ Pareene, Alex (2011-06-14) The case for outing closeted politicians Archived June 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Salon.com
  33. ^ Barbaro, Michael (June 26, 2011). "Behind N.Y. Gay Marriage, an Unlikely Mix of Forces". The New York Times. p. A1.
  34. ^ "Carl Kruger Resigns: New York State Senator Expected To Plead Guilty To Corruption Charges". HuffingtonPost.com. December 20, 2011. Retrieved September 19, 2018.

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