NEW YORK -- An assemblyman from a long line of politicians was acquitted Thursday on charges he tarnished the family name by taking a no-show job in exchange for doing political favors for a corrupt hospital executive in his Brooklyn district.
Assemblyman William Boyland Jr., a Democrat, dropped his head and a supporter let out a whoop as the not guilty verdict was read in federal court in Manhattan. Afterward, Boyland, who remained in the Legislature while fighting the charges, told reporters, "I'm looking forward to getting back to work."
The case against Boyland stemmed from an investigation that resulted in the conviction at a non-jury trial in September of the hospital executive, David Rosen, on charges that Rosen sought to bribe Boyland and two other legislators, former state Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio and state Sen. Carl Kruger. The judge found Rosen sought to pay off the politicians while seeking legislation to protect and enlarge medical facilities located largely in poor neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens.
Boyland, 41, worked for one of Rosen's hospitals before he was elected in 2003 to the legislative post, which pays about $79,000 a year. Authorities say the hospital continued to pay him an annual salary of about $35,000 a year until 2008 -- even though he never did any real work or followed rules requiring him to report the income -- in exchange for helping Rosen secure millions of dollars in state funding.
Boyland's lawyer argued that the government failed to prove his client viewed his hospital pay as anything other than legitimate compensation for community outreach that had nothing to do with his duties as an elected official.
Boyland's uncle, Thomas Boyland, represented the same Brooklyn district in the Assembly from 1977 to 1982. After he died in office, his brother, William Boyland Sr., was elected to fill the seat.
Seminerio died in prison, where he was serving a sentence since his 2009 conviction for defrauding his Queens constituents of honest services.
Kruger is facing charges he accepted more than $1 million in bribes from a variety of business people. He has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting a separate trial.
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