NY State senator Carl Kruger.
(photo credit: New York State Senate)
NEW YORK – A New York state senator with strong Orthodox Jewish support resigned
from his post and pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges on Tuesday, amid
an abrupt and sordid train wreck of tears, accusations of bribery and the
unveiling of a possible gay lover.
State Senator Carl Kruger sobbed in
federal court in Manhattan Tuesday as he admitted accepting bribes of at least
$1 million in exchange for official actions as a senator. Kruger, who has
said he is not gay, had his bribes go through the account of Dr. Michael
Turano, a gynecologist with whom he lived and who court papers implied is his
Federal prosecutor Preet Bharara issued a statement saying that
the guilty plea had removed Kruger, a corrupt lawmaker, from a position of
power: “Instead of serving the people who elected him, Senator Kruger monetized
his public office and served himself.”
Kruger, who is Jewish, had held
his Brooklyn seat since 1994, and was considered a conservative Democrat. He
represented District 27, which currently includes the heavily Jewish and
immigrant-populated Brighton Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Midwood and Mill Basin
Kruger had strong Orthodox Jewish backing for having voted
against a gay marriage bill in 2009, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported,
telling the Orthodox Hamodia
newspaper at the time, “When it becomes an
emotional, gut-wrenching issue, when it cuts through the fabric of traditions
and values, then I have my community as the cornerstone of my
His former district is the subject of much speculation, in
light of the indictment. Depending where district lines are redrawn,
political bloggers contend, the seat could be occupied by a Russian immigrant or
a religious Jewish candidate when a special election is held.
bloggers have also speculated that Republicans will include a heavily Orthodox
“super district” in their drafts of redistricting proposals, which would put as
many Orthodox voters as possible into Kruger’s former district.