State Sen. Carl Kruger is going to have plenty of cash on hand for soap and cigarettes in prison.
The disgraced pol who pled guilty to federal corruption charges last week could collect an estimated $70,000-a-year pension for the rest of his life.
Kruger (D-Brighton Beach) is facing up to 50 years in prison after admitting in a blubbering confession that he sold his political clout for nearly $1 million in bribes from deep-pocketed lobbyists and developers.
The eight-term legislator’s asteroid-like descent from head of the senate’s powerful Finance Committee to political pariah was a striking fall from grace — but the pension he’s collecting may cushion the blow.
According to the Albany Times-Union, Kruger could be eligible to collect $69,534.61 a year — about $10,000 less than the yearly $79,500 salary he was making before he resigned last week.
“The feds may be able to go after parts of his pension, but there isn’t a mechanism for us [to take it away from him],” a spokesman for the state comptroller explained.
State employees automatically pay into a retirement fund during the course of their career, the spokesman said, adding that Kruger, 62, hasn’t filed for retirement yet.
Kruger’s pension may help pad his canteen account — a type of prison bank that will allow him to purchase a few additional necessities while in the big house — but the beleaguered pol says he’s going to needs his pension to pay his bills.
Benjamin Brafman, Kruger’s high-profile attorney, told our sister publication, the New York Post, that the crooked pol is flat broke, even though he currently lives in a $1.8-million seaside mansion on Mill Island,
“Despite all of the stories to the contrary, Sen. Kruger personally has always maintained a very modest lifestyle,” Brafman told the Post. “Other than his state salary and state pension, he has no other assets whatsoever.”
Albany insiders dispute this, telling the Post that Kruger has hidden his wealth by buying luxury goods — like a $200,000 Bentley — and putting them in other people’s names. Many of these so-called assets are owned by Michael Turano — Kruger’s alleged lover who also pled guilty to corruption charges last week — and Turano’s family, they claim.
Updated 2 am, Dec. 27, 2011: The story was altered to correct an error.