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December 21, 2011

State Senator Kruger pleads guilty, resigns; no mention of "Real Estate Developer #1," but plea includes admission that legislator helped Forest City Ratner executive

Atlantic Yards Report

Sixteen-year Southern Brooklyn state Senator Carl Kruger pleaded guilty yesterday to accepting at least $1 million in bribes--thus supporting his over-the-top residence in Mill Basin and a Bentley--and resigned from the Senate.

The news coverage (Times, Daily News, Post), the more entertaining editorials (Daily News, Post) and Michael Powell's Times column, emphasized Kruger's self-pitying, pathetic, tearful apology, while the Daily News (as did the Observer) pointed to a culture of corruption in Albany. Indeed, Kruger gets to keep his pension.

Neither Kruger's brief allocution nor any of the news coverage mentioned Kruger's interaction with "Real Estate Developer #1" (as detailed beginning on p. 21 of the the 3/9/11 complaint), aka Forest City Ratner.

However, Kruger's guilty plea apparently included admitting that he helped deliver state funds to a cause championed by Forest City Ratner executive Bruce Bender, part of the legislator's work for clients of lobbyist Richard Lipsky, who was also indicted but has yet to go to trial.

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Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Quietly, and without allegations of FCR-related influence or bribery, Prospect Park's Lakeside project gets $2.687 million from the state

Prospect Park's $74 million Lakeside ice rink project was put under a cloud when state Senator Carl Kruger got indicted for--and just pleaded guilty to-- directing $500,000 in state funds to a client of lobbyist Richard Lipsky, part of a suite of charges.

(It was a cause championed by Forest City Ratner executive Bruce Bender, whose wife sits on the Prospect Park Alliance board, though it's hardly clear that Forest City lobbyist Richard Lipsky, charged with bribing Kruger, was doing so for that specific cause.)

But it turns out that Lakeside does just fine getting state funds in the conventional way, untainted by bribery allegations or much publicity.

Posted by eric at December 21, 2011 11:35 AM