In Albany, State Senator Carl Kruger was a canny and influential lawmaker for 16 years, respected for his command of the political currency that matters most: raising and spreading around campaign contributions.
But there was something unusual about Mr. Kruger. He rarely socialized with fellow senators, seemed uncomfortable in crowds, frequently took his lunch alone in the drab Capitol cafeteria and, in an age of ubiquitous cellphones, could be spotted whispering into public pay phones.
On Thursday, federal prosecutors unveiled a 53-page criminal complaint against Mr. Kruger, 61, that unlocked many of the mysteries of his life — but deepened others. It portrayed a man who had amassed at least $1 million in bribes in return for political favors: helping hospitals seeking to merge, obtaining state money for real-estate developers, expanding the business hours of liquor stores.
And it revealed, prosecutors say, that the seemingly measured senator was using the bribes to bankroll a lavish lifestyle, including a four-door Bentley Arnage and a $2 million waterfront home originally built for the former boss of the Luchese crime family.
Mr. Kruger and seven other defendants — including Assemblyman William F. Boyland Jr., a fellow Brooklyn Democrat, and a prominent lobbyist, Richard Lipsky — were charged by federal prosecutors in Manhattan with what United States Attorney Preet Bharara called “a broad-based bribery racket.”
Read on, see who he took bribes from, what he did to get those bribes, who he lived with and what those folks did to help Kruger hide the ill-gotten gains he made from his political power.
If these allegations are true, Kruger should quit the State Senate and go work for Goldman Sachs.