New York State Sen. Carl Kruger pleaded guilty yesterday to four counts of bribery and influence peddling, reports the New York Post.As part of a plea bargain, Kruger, 62, admitted he took more than $1 million in bribes from lobbyists, hospital executives and a building developer in return for favorable treatment. Sentencing will happen in April, with the disgraced politician facing 8 to 11 years behind bars.
Kruger and gynecologist Michael Turano, whom the Post calls Kruger’s “his secret longtime companion,” were arrested in a massive sting operation in March. Turano, 50, is accused of using the bribe money to pay the mortgage on the lavish, multimillion-dollar mansion the two men live in together (along with Turano’s brother and mom).
FBI Agent Julie Brown spelled out, in part, the nature of the men’s relationship in her testimony:
“Kruger acted—and was treated in many ways—like a member of the Turano family, and Kruger effectively functioned as a member of their household. Kruger went shopping for the Turano family, for example buying light bulbs for the Turano residence, travel-sized snacks for them when they traveled, and stockings for the Turano mother.”
Wiretaps revealed more intimate details, like when Turano told Kruger, “From the day I walked into the [Thomas Jefferson] club, you loved me and you wanted me.”
If you’re feeling a twinge of pity for these guys, with their J. Edgar Hoover/Clyde Tolson setup, remember that Kruger initially voted against marriage equality in New York until media scrutiny—and picketers outside the pair’s McMansion—led him to change his tune.
We always said that hypocrisy is the worst sin you could commit, but taking more than a million in kickbacks might top that.
Image via New York State Senate