Feds: Kruger Funneled Bribes Through Hospice Care

Federal prosecutors say State Senator Carl Kruger was shameless in selling his political influence, allegedly taking talking points from one of his benefactors and funneling the bribes through a hospice care organization.

Manhattan federal prosecutor Glen McGorty claimed Kruger “was not subtle about the quid pro quo” in his exchanges with hospital exec David Rosen, whose MediSys Health Network doled out consulting contracts to sway other pols. In the case of Kruger, McGorty said during Rosen’s trial on Monday, the state senator was paid off when Rosen “steered” hundreds of thousands of dollars in business to a hospice service named Compassionate Care, from which Kruger got a “cut,” according to New York Post’s report on the trial. In exchange, Kruger advocated on behalf of Rosen, going so far as directing his former chief of staff to call Rosen for “talking points” to push in Albany.

But it wasn’t just members of his own office that did the state senator’s bidding. Testimony from James Clyne Jr., the former executive deputy commissioner of the state Health Department, revealed that Kruger may have used State Senate resources to lie, mislead and procure advance information on Rosen’s behalf. Clyne testified that State Senate counsel Joshua Ehrlich called him in 2008, inquiring about the fate of Queens’ Parkway Hospital, which was later shuttered. Ehrlich told Clyne he was calling on behalf of Kruger, who was interested “because he had a daughter practicing at Parkway.”

However, Kruger has no children.

Ehrlich has denied making the statement, saying it is an error of Clyne’s recollection.

State Senator Carl Kruger was hit with a slew of corruption charges in March, threatening to end his political career and put him behind bars. He has pleaded not guilty, along with seven other defendants, in what federal prosecutors describe as a “broad-based bribery racket” that saw the state senator paid to peddle the interests of real estate and health care execs.

[via The Brooklyn Politics]