Today’s news:

Dorothy Turano, Kruger ally and partner, ducks and weaves at CB18 meeting

The Brooklyn Paper

Instead of jeers, Community Board 18 District Manager Dorothy Turano got flowers.

A bouquet of brightly colored carnations and daises with a heart-shaped balloon reading, “We love you,” greeted the disgraced Mill Basin official — who last week was implicated in a broad-ranging bribery scandal involving her patron (and roommate) state Sen. Carl Kruger — at Wednesday’s Community Board 18 meeting, her first public appearance since the bombshell accusations were made.

Kruger (D–Brighton Beach) has been accused of swapping his political clout and government connections for close to $1 million in bribes from deep-pocketed lobbyists and developers. The payoffs came to Kruger from Turano’s son, Michael, who was outed last week as Kruger’s accomplice and lover.

Throughout the meeting — where the Kruger–Turano scandal was not mentioned publicly — the usually talkative Turano, 73, hid behind those flowers and said little.

It is unclear who paid for the floral tribute to Turano, who has been the board’s well-paid district manager for the last 22 years. Board Chairman Sol Needle claimed the flowers came from the board, but several members said they were never told about the flowers or asked to chip in for them.

Turano, her two sons, and Kruger all flop together in a multi-million dollar Mill Island home paid for by Kruger’s bribes, court documents show.

Turano hasn’t been charged, but U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s corruption probe continues — and investigators are looking into seizing Turano’s home, he said.

The district manager is featured prominently in the criminal complaint, where FBI investigators accuse her of advocating for developer Aaron Malinsky’s Canarsie Plaza, a project that Kruger was getting paid to promote.

The complaint states that another developer had put proposed a supermarket and home improvement store at the Canarsie Plaza site in 2004, but Turano shot it down, claiming, “Decisions are not made in this community unless they are presented to elected officials.”

A year later, Turano recommended that the board approve Malinsky’s proposal to build a shopping center at the site, which is now anchored by a BJ’s.

“This will be a good development plan,” she told the board. “This will be good for increased job opportunities, a nice place for people to shop and add to the beautification of the area.”

Two weeks later, Malinsky sent $5,000 to the bogus company run by Turano’s son, the federal complaint states.

Yet these astonishing accusations had little affect on board members, a number of whom either owe their positions to the many beneficiaries of Kruger’s political and financial good will over the decades or are longstanding members of the Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club, where Kruger got his start.

Needle and other board members tried to protect Turano throughout the night.

At the start of the meeting, Needle requested that the 63rd Precinct bar media photographers from entering the Kings Plaza Community Room, but a reporter from NY1 called NYPD headquarters in Manhattan to lodge a formal complaint, and Needle backed down.

Once the meeting ended, a beefy board member flanked Turano as local powerbroker Frank Seddio, who was Community Board 18’s district manager before becoming an Assemblyman, surrogate court judge and democratic district leader, led her to his car. Seddio and Turano grew up together in Canarsie and Turano was hired as a youth coordinator in the early 1980s, board members said.

Turano appeared anxious as she hurried past reporters at the end of the night, refusing to respond to questions about the scandal or if she would step down as district manager — something many at the board thought was unnecessary.

“Why should she step down? She hasn’t been charged, so she hasn’t done anything wrong,” board member Gardy Brazella said. “All you can do in situations like this is pray for her and hope for the best.”

But the smooth face of support for Turano is starting to show some worry lines. One board member called — though not publicly, yet — for her to step down during the investigation.

“If there’s even a hint of impropriety on her part, she should at least take a leave of absence until everything is cleared up in the courts,” said board member Neal Duncan. “Our district manager is named in court papers and that puts the board in a bad light.”

The 50 members of each community board are responsible for hiring and firing their district manager and support staff. Needle refused to comment on the Kruger scandal or questions about Turano stepping down.

“Dottie has always been an excellent district manager,” Needle told us. “She’s been with us for a very long time and she’s done a lot of good for the communities she served.”

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Reader Feedback

Dorothy from Kansas says:
I always love it when community boards have to be reminded about the state Open Meetings Law. The chair asked the police to break the law? Incredible!

Oh, and Neal, I hate to disillusion you but those in the know think CB18 has been "in a bad light" for years, decades even. One of the most dysfunctional boards in the entire city.
March 18, 2011, 9:48 am
jenna from sheepshead bay says:
No way you can tell me she had nothing to do with this corruption.

I'll bet Solomon Kalish sent her the flowers ...Hes hoping she stands by him...

hang them all!
March 18, 2011, 11:29 am
Mike from Midwood says:
Kruger has got to go! And so too Turano. RESIGN NOW! She will be indicted sooner than later.....
March 18, 2011, 11:38 am
sal from midwood says:
Where was Kruger ? He should have been there to hold his girlfriend Turano hand. Ha ! Ha !
March 18, 2011, 5:34 pm
jerry from brighton beach says:
Well..this is the icing on top of the cake. These Community Boards are LESS THAN worthless. They are just as corrupt as those who lead them .
Instead of demanding Turano's resignation , they give her flowers .
All these CB members are bought & paid for.
How many of the Board members run non-profits???
How much tax payer money is going to these non-profits they run?
The NYC Dept. of Investigation should
start investigating.
Turano & Kruger talk a good talk, but they walk to their own selfish, corrupt
tunes.
SHAME ON THESE BOARD MEMBERS ! NO GUTS ! PUPPETS OF THE POWERS THAT BE.
TURANO & KRUGER PULL THEIR STRINGS & THEY DANCE TO THEIR TUNES !
March 18, 2011, 5:57 pm
citygal from long island says:
Hey Sal, Kruger was holding his boyfriend"s ----!! LOL
They all got to go for sure!! How can anybody think that each one of them didn't know exactly what was going on and in (if you know what I mean) !! come on, they all ate, crapped and slept together!!!!
March 19, 2011, 10:07 am
brooklynbabe from Coney says:
to jerry from brighton - you are right on the money! Someone should take a look at Cb 13 in Coney Island. They don't do squat. Half of them have city jobs & the other half run non profits that get city funds. They are the handmaidens of the politicians that appoint them. It's time for NYC to save a huge pile of money & get rid of these useless boards.
March 20, 2011, 1:21 pm
Me from Bayridge says:
Mama Turano sold her "boys" to kruger to play with. She is fat old greedy lady. Kruger is a snake and wiggled into all their beds.
May 13, 2011, 9:54 pm

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