NY senator resigns over corruption charges

State Senator Kruger sobbed in federal court in Manhattan as he admitted accepting bribes of at least $1 million.

By JORDANA HORN, JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
December 23, 2011 02:43
1 minute read.
NY State senator Carl Kruger

NY State senator Carl Kruger. (photo credit: New York State Senate)

 
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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 lover.

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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 neighborhoods.

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 decision.”

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.

Political 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.

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