Brooklyn State Senator Carl Kruger resigned from his post Tuesday, moments before pleading guilty to charges he participated in a bribery scheme. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
He was stoic walking into court Tuesday, but once there, Carl Kruger broke down, tearfully admitting guilt in a bribery scheme that will send him to prison.
Kruger apologized to the judge for being emotional, and choking back tears read a statement that said in part, "I accept responsibility for my actions and am truly sorry for my conduct.”
"By accepting responsibility for his conduct, Senator Kruger has confirmed his respect for the integrity of the judicial process," said Kruger's attorney, Benjamin Brafman.
Kruger was charged in March with seven others in what federal prosecutors described as a broad-based bribery scheme. Kruger received nearly half a million dollars in exchange for political favors, helping bankroll a lavish lifestyle.
After initially pleading not guilty, Kruger admitted guilt to four of five charges Tuesday, and officially submitted his resignation, effective immediately.
Kruger had been facing up to 60 years in prison. But under terms of his plea deal, he would spend between nine and 11.25 years behind bars, though the judge in his case made clear Tuesday that plea deal isn’t binding on the court and cannot exercise his discretion when he sentences Kruger.
"We are hopeful that when sentencing Mr. Kruger, Judge Rakoff will consider not only the conduct Mr. Kruger has today acknowledged, but will also note and consider his many years of devotion to the thousands of constituents Mr. Kruger has honestly served during a lifetime of public and community service," said Brafman.
Co-defendant Michael Turano, described as an intimate associate of Kruger’s who helped launder his money, pleaded guilty to one count Tuesday and faces five years in prison.
It’s expected Governor Andrew Cuomo will call a special election to fill the Brooklyn senate seat held since 1994 by Kruger, who will also have to forfeit up to $900,000 in restitution and forfeiture.
Sentencing for both Kruger and Turano is set for April 26.