F.B.I.: Boyland took bribes to pay lawyers defending him from charges that he took bribes
To help pay attorneys who were defending Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. from bribery charges, the 42-year-old Brooklyn lawmaker allegedly solicited more bribes.
That's according to the latest set of corruption charges filed against Boyland by the U.S. attorney's office in the Eastern District.
Boyland was arrested today and charged with soliciting bribes and corruption less than two weeks after he was acquitted of similar, but unrelated, charges filed by the U.S. attorney in the Southern District.
The investigation that resulted in today's arrest began in August of 2010 with an F.B.I. probe into corruption in the carnival industry, according to the complaint, and soon became intertwined with Boyland's case in the Southern District.
In announcing Boyland's arrest today, the F.B.I. said Boyland told an undercover agent posing as a businessman that he needed money to "solidify some attorneys."
In late April of this year, after the Southern District charges had been filed, but before the trial, Boyland met with the undercover agents in a hotel room in Atlantic City and allegedly soliticed a $250,000 donation that would help pay his legal fees. The dialogue, from the complaint:
UC1: You tell me and don't be bashful. What do you need now? Most of all because I want to make sure you have the stamina to keep going with all this stuff too, along the way.
BOYLAND: I have legal fees for this legal thing that I have. I have to hire a good attorney.
UC2: Have you not gotten a good one yet?
BOYLAND: I have a good attorney I just can't pay him (laughs) For me to, be talking the kind of you know.. expansive kinda vision that I have for this project and myself, I not only have to be clear of this project I have.. I have to.. get clear of these.. charges but I have to sort of come back in a bigger sense. That, that's what has to happen. You know? I mean in the long term I think you know everybody wins with that.
Later in the meeting, Boyland tells them, "I gotta stay clean … I got a bag man," and, "I stopped talking on the phone a while ago."
On June 7, they met again, and the undercover agents balked at paying such a high sum up front, suggesting maybe they give $5,000 instead. Boyland referenced the Atlantic City meeting and said his legal fees were his "biggest lift."
In that meeting, the agents made sure to state they didn't want to pressure Boyland into this, according to the complaint.
In late June, an unidentified Boyland staffer called the undercover agent to say that Boyland had been out of touch because he had been questioned by authorities about his role with the hospital. The $250,000 dollars, or some portion of it, does not appear to have ever changed hands.
In its press release today, the F.B.I. made a point of highlighting the interaction between the cases, saying it made the Eastern District case even more egregious.
"The charges announced today are all the more astonishing in light of the fact that Boyland allegedly committed much of the criminal conduct after he had already been charged in another bribery case," said F.B.I. Assistant Director in Charge Janice Fedarcyk.