Beleaguered State Senator Carl Kruger will appear in court this afternoon, where he and his alleged lover are expected to plea guilty to charges stemming from an investigation that claims the pol accepted $1 million in bribes.
City & State first reported yesterday evening on the surprise appearance – Kruger was not expected in court until January 17 – and noted that “rumors of a plea deal have been circulating in Albany political circles for months.”
An FBI probe of the state senator turned into a five-count indictment in May, alleging Kruger took a stream of bribes totaling at least $1 million in return for official actions between 2006 and February 2011.
The complaint also alleges that he directed hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer dollars to clients of lobbyist Richard Lipsky, who paid him kickbacks. Recorded conversations revealed an intimate relationship with Michael Turano, who Kruger apparently lived with, along with Turano’s brother and mother. The Turanos, prosecutors allege, funneled money through shell companies on behalf of Kruger and used it to finance a lavish lifestyle.
Sources tell the New York Times that Kruger will plea guilty to four of the five counts of the indictment, while Turano, who will appear alongside the pol today, will plea guilty to one charge. Kruger could face more than 25 years years, while Turano is facing five.
One of the counts – fraud conspiracy – is a felony, and a guilty plea would require the state senator to resign his seat. Kruger has held the seat since 1994. He pleaded not guilty to the same charges in April.