NEW YORK -- Just weeks after being acquitted on federal corruption charges, State Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. was arrested again by the FBI on new bribery and extortion charges -- money he allegedly solicited to help pay legal bills from his earlier case.
Boyland is accused of soliciting more than $250,000 in payoffs in exchange for helping an amusement park businessman. That businessman was an FBI informant who recorded the meetings.
Officials said Boyland accepted $7,000 in cash payments as well as campaign contributions in excess of campaign finance limits.
He is also accused of soliciting a $250,000 payoff in exchange for a scheme to help two undercover operatives try to buy and renovate a Brooklyn hospital for $8 million and then resell it for $15 million.
'I have legal fees'
The charges in this latest case allege that while on trial in federal court in Manhattan, Boyland was out soliciting additional bribes.
According to the criminal complaint, Boyland said he needed money because of costs piling up from his federal case.
"I have legal fees for this legal thing that I have .... I have a good attorney, I just can't pay him," he is accused of telling an undercover FBI agent.
Boyland, who appeared in court in sweats and sneakers and was released on $100,000 bail, left court without comment. When asked if he planned to stay in office, Boyland shook his head yes. When asked if he had anything to say to his constituents, he shook his head no.
Defense attorney Michael Bachrach said it was unfortunate we "are here again" and said he would respond to the charges at a later date.
"The extent of the charged corruption is staggering,” said U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch, who accused Boyland of auctioning of his seat to the highest bidder. "In this instance, the 'bidders' were working for the FBI.”
On Nov. 10, Boyland was acquitted in a separate case in Manhattan of conspiring to collect $175,000 in bribes to influence health care organizations in Brooklyn and Queens.
After his acquittal, Boyland said he was looking forward to getting back to work.
FBI NY Director Janice Fedarcyk said Boyland asked for the meetings with the undercovers in person so his phone calls would not be taped.
"Recording phone calls is not the only method the FBI has available to fight public corruption," she said.
If convicted in this latest case, he could face a maximum 30 years in prison.