The Legislative Ethics Commission filed a “notice of reasonable cause” Tuesday against a lawmaker for just the second time since it was created in 2007, claiming Brooklyn Assemblyman William Boyland’s relationship with a hospital in his district may have violated the state’s ethics law.
Boyland, a Democrat, was charged along with Sen. Carl Kruger, D-Brooklyn, in federal court in March with two counts of conspiracy and one count of money laundering in connection with the alleged scheme. The U.S. Attorney’s Office claims the duo in March, saying they participated in bribes, kickbacks and influence peddling to drive state contracts to their various interests, including the Brookdale University Hospital.
The commission said Boyland “maintained a financial relationship” with the hospital “which constituted a substantial conflict of interest” for the Assemblyman.
Tuesday’s charge marks the first time the commission has acted against a sitting lawmaker, and its first action since filing a similar claim against already ousted (corrected) Sen. Hiram Monseratte, alleging that the senator solicited contributions to his legal defense fund from clients and lobbyists. Monseratte was previously ejected from the Senate by his colleagues after he was convicted of a misdemeanor following a domestic violence incident.
The Legislative Ethics Commission was established in 2007 in an attempt to beef up the state’s legislative ethics laws. It’s headed by Sen. Andrew Lanza, R-Staten Island, and Manhattan Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell, a Democrat.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been pushing for an ethics overhaul for the Legislature, pushing for an independent panel to oversee lawmakers while blasting the current form of “self-policing” as ineffective at stops around the state.