Former New York Assemblyman William Boyland Jr.’s wrongdoings have caught up with him.
Last week, Boyland appeared in federal court and was sentenced to 14 years in prison for his involvement in a bribery scheme. Boyland sought bribes from a carnival promoter and two undercover FBI agents posing as real estate investors. Although the sentence falls short of the 19 years that prosecutors wanted, it does surpass the length of sentences other Albany lawmakers have received in recent corruption-based cases.
Boyland, as part of his sentence, was ordered to forfeit $169,410.14 and pay a separate restitution of $71,339.66 to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. He was also ordered to pay an additional $84,270.48 to the New York State Office of the Aging.
During sentencing, U.S. District Judge Sandra Townes said that Boyland had “violated the trust of his office and his constituents.”
At his sentencing, Boyland recounted some of his good deeds as a politician and ended his comments by saying he thanked God for “giving me the opportunity to help.”
In a statement, acting Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Kelly Currie lambasted Boyland for his actions and hoped that the 45-year-old’s sentence would be used as a lesson for other elected officials.
“As he demonstrated time and again, Boyland, a lawmaker himself, lacked any respect for either the law or his constituents who elected him,” said Currie. “Officials who would seek to sell the power and influence of their office to the highest bidder are on notice that they will be held to account for their crimes.”
According to court papers, defense attorneys argued that Boyland’s offenses weren’t any worse than other elected officials doing time for corruption. Prosecutors responded by citing the fact that Boyland continued accepting bribes even while under indictment in a separate federal case—evidence of his “arrogance.”
Boyland first came under scrutiny for his carnival promoter bribe back in 2010, but his misdeeds didn’t end there. The disgraced elected official was recorded making an offer to phony businessmen to buy a hospital in his district at a discount. During the meeting in Atlantic City, Boyland told the fake businessmen he would secure state funds for a renovation of the facility in exchange for $250,000.
But Boyland still wasn’t done.
The AmNews reported in 2013 on a series of incidents involving money changing hands, wiretaps and campaign finance violations rocking New York Senate and Assembly chambers. These incidents included Boyland pleading not guilty to mail fraud charges after being accused of using funds meant for a nonprofit organization to pay for community events that promoted his political career. He allegedly diverted funds to buy T-shirts that read “Team Boyland” for the events and directed staff members to falsify invoices for said purchases. He was facing bribery and corruption charges at the time.
Thomas Boyland, William Boyland’s uncle, served the same Brooklyn District (55th) the younger Boyland represented, from 1977 to 1982. William Boyland Sr. took over representation in 1982, after Thomas Boyland passed away and held the seat for two decades. William Boyland Jr. was first elected to the Assembly in 2003.