Carl Kruger is a Democratic state senator from Brooklyn. His vote against gay marriage last year was crucial in stopping the measure in New York. Funny thing: He lives with his gay lover, who's the bagman in their bribery racket.
Yesterday, a criminal complaint against Kruger was unsealed in federal court in the southern district of New York, lifting the veil from what must be one of the most satisfyingly convoluted and brazen cases of self-loathing gay political figures in our time.
First, the bribery: Kruger, the feds charge, conspired with a state lobbyist named Richard Lipsky to shake down clients for Kruger's vote. He's charged with accepting bribes from Lipsky to funnel state money to various New York City projects being developed by Forest City Ratner, as well as trying to curtail the state's recycling laws. When the feds raided Lipsky's Upper West Side apartment, they found "$102,000 in cash from a safe in a closet and $4,000 'in crisp, large denominational bills from the pocket of a suit belonging to Lipsky,'" according to the New York Post.
According to the New York Times, Kruger used the money to "bankroll a lavish lifestyle, financing a four-door Bentley Arnage and a $2 million waterfront home originally built for a boss of the Lucchese crime family."
Now, about that lifestyle! Kruger, who was one of four Democrats who killed gay marriage in New York last year (along with face-slasher Hiram Monserrate), ostensibly lives with his sister in Brooklyn. But according to the Post, neighbors there "said either that they did not recognize him or that he was rarely, if ever, there." That might be because he actually lives in this gaudy 7,000 square-foot home with the Turano family—Michael, his brother Gerard, and their mother Dorothy. Kruger is, according to the complaint, essentially a member of the Turano family. "He helped manage the household and shop for groceries," the Times says, and even help pick out a gravestone for the family plot."
Dorothy Turano, who is, at 73, much older than Kruger, was often seen out in public with him, "and some neighbors described the two as a couple," the Times says. But "it was the oldest son, Michael, to whom Mr. Kruger was closest, and they forged a relationship in which they 'supported and relied on one another,' according to the complaint." Indeed, Michael Turano, the complaint says, created the shell companies that Kruger used to launder his bribe money and "finance the Bentley, pay credit card bills and make mortgage payments on the house."
So what, exactly, are we to make of all this? Let's see what the Post says: "GAY POL'S $1 MIL 'BRIBE' OUTRAGE: KRUGER & BEAU IN PAY-FOR-PLAY ROUNDUP." Oh!
Michael Turano and Kruger lived together, they co-mingled their finances, and Kruger helped look after Turano's aging mother. There have been plenty of secretly gay politicians who opposed gay marriage; Kruger appears to be the first secretly gay-married pol to have done so.
To add the craziness: The home that Kruger and Turano share was built by an architect named Anthony Fava, who was murdered in 1991 by the his client and the home's original owner, Lucchese crime family boss Anthony Casso.
Also named in the complaint were Lipsky, Turano, and state Assemblyman William F. Boyland Jr, who is accused of accepting a no-show job at a health care company in exchange for helping the company secure state contracts.
[Photo of Kruger via AP; photo of his home via Google Maps]