Assemblyman William Boyland, Jr., Hit With Federal Charges

6
283

District Leader Chris Owens Calls for Resignation

Federal prosecutors sent shock waves throughout the Brooklyn political establishment with a criminal complaint against 55th Assemblyman William Boyland, Jr. and State Senator Carl Kruger. Kruger is accused of “receiving a stream of bribes totaling at least $1 million in exchange for taking official actions.” Boyland, Jr. is accused of accepting $177,000 in bribes from a hospital executive. According to the federal complaint, Boyland, Jr. is accused of having a no-show job at Brookdale Hospital since 1997-98, prior to assuming his father’s position in the Assembly in a Feb. 2003 special election. The job title was Outreach Coordinator for Urban Strategies, a set of satellite clinics affiliated with Brookdale. Boyland, Jr.’s status was changed to “consultant” in April 2004, 14 months after his election. The complaint alleges between Dec. 2003 and Nov. 2008, Boyland, Jr. received approximately $177,368 from MediSys, a company that operates Brookdale Hospital. According to the complaint, during the time that Boyland, Jr. received payment from MediSys as a consultant, Boyland, Jr. maintained no workspace at any MediSys facility, did not receive a parking sticker as sometimes was provided to employees, and did not have a MediSys e-mail account. Yet, Boyland, Jr., Jr. disclosed his position with Brookdale Hospital in annual state filings as a director of marketing and as a consultant to Brookdale Hospital, claiming that his job involved giving “advice on community outreach.” During the period when he received a regular income from MediSys, Boyland, Jr. made several requests for millions of dollars in funding which would have benefited MediSys hospitals. Specifically, in 2003, Boyland, Jr. awarded $22,700 in state grants to a MediSys social service provider, Urban Strategies, where he previously worked prior to serving in the Assembly in 2003. On or about Feb. 6, 2004, Boyland, Jr. sent a letter on his official Assembly letterhead to the Speaker of the NYS Assembly, requesting the allocation of $3 million of state funding for Brookdale Hospital. On Feb. 12, 2004, Boyland, Jr. sent a letter on his official Assembly letterhead to the Assembly Speaker, asking that the Speaker urge the Assembly to retroactively restore a prior budget cut in Medicaid reimbursement. On Feb. 28, 2007, Boyland, Jr. sent a letter asking the Speaker to allocate $3 million for various needs at Jamaica Hospital, a MediSys entity. In addition, Boyland, Jr. attempted to utilize his official position as an Assemblyman to gain access to and influence officials at the NYS Dept. of Health in the hopes of facilitating MediSys’ acquisition of one of the Caritas Hospitals, Mary Immaculate Hospital. According to the complaint, FBI agents learned that “an official act by a member of the Boyland, Jr. family implicitly created obligations to the Boyland, Jr. family.” For example, in 2003, co-defendant Rosen, a chief executive of MediSys Health Network, egotiated with the sister of William Boyland, Jr., Jr., (Tracy Boyland, Jr.), who was then a member of the NYC Council, to obtain a two-part, multi million dollar grant of NYC funds to support certain hospital projects. Boyland, Jr. and Kruger surrendered to federal authorities and were released. 52nd AD Leader Chris Owens has called for both Boyland, Jr. and Kruger to resign their public-elected positions so that the people of Brooklyn can be “effectively and honestly” served by individuals free of negative distractions. “No one is guilty until convicted in a court of law,” said Owens. “But these two elected officials need to do right by their constituents and all New Yorkers by resigning right now and taking their scandals out of the public sector.” According to Owens, Kruger and Boyland, Jr. “can’t be as effective” because their current predicament “is a distraction and a problem for their colleagues.” Owens was “not surprised Kruger is involved in something like this.” But he is “much mor conflicted” regarding the charges against Boyland, Jr.. “I have known him all my life,” Owens said. Owens is not passing judgment, but said, “Justice should be done, but not in the public arena.” He believes Brownsville needs “quality, strong leadership. Those needs can’t go on hold.” Acknowledging the seemingly consistent attack on Black elected officials, Owens said, “Black politicians are under assault. Some folks go out of their way to investigate Black elected officials.” He cautioned, “Black politicians are not exempt from good behavior.” For Owens, it is a bigger problem when situations like this support voter apathy and distrust in elected officials. “How do we restore trust in government?” he asked. Owens said there is a reason why ethics reform is an ongoing debate. “White folks have an advantage” when they go into elected office. Most elected positions are considered part-time jobs. “Most white politicians are professional lawyers or partners in law firms before they are elected. They derive income from other sources.” Conversely, Owens said, “Among Black elected officials, very few are lawyers.” According to Owens, most Black politicians are community activists or employees before they get elected. “There is a skewing of the economy of being an elected official. It is an expensive job – to raise money, to dress right, to drive right.” Owens suggests the requirements should be modified to make elected office a full-time job. “But that would hurt white folks,” said Owens while explaining why ethics reform meets resistance. Despite this, “an elected official’s allegiance should be to the job, and not to others,” he said. What we are watching, said Owens, is “the anatomy of a fallen dynasty.”

Comments are closed.