Saying goodbye is never easy — especially when you’re going to separate minimum-security prisons.
Disgraced ex-state senator Carl Kruger checked into the federal prison in Fort Dix, New Jersey, yesterday afternoon to serve the seven-year sentence he earned for selling almost $1 million worth of political favors to well-heeled lobbyists. But Michael Turano — his accomplice and alleged lover — was shipped off to a different correctional facility, despite requests from both Kruger and Turano that they be allowed to serve their time at the same place.
Following their April sentencing, Manhattan Federal Court Judge Saul Rakoff forwarded a request sent by Kruger’s attorney Benjamin Brafman to the Bureau of Prisons asking that the former pol be sent to Otisville along with Turano, so the pol could have access to kosher food.
Robert Katzberg, Turano’s lawyer, made the same request, claiming that the convicted gynecologist wanted to be close to Brooklyn so his mother, 74-year-old Dorothy Turano, the district manager of Community Board 18, could visit him. Otisville is about 70 miles away.
The federal prison in Otisville also happens to be on Forbes magazine’s list of the US’s 10 cushiest prisons — a distinction not shared by the Fort Dix correctional facility.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons wouldn’t comment as to why it decided to disregard the judge’s recommendation and send Kruger to Fort Dix, but they did say that Kruger will be able to keep kosher in New Jersey.
“All institutions serve religiously appropriate food, including kosher food,” said a spokesman for the Bureau of Prisons.
Prosecutors claim lobbyists funneled thousands of dollars in payoffs to a dummy corporation that Michael Turano founded so Kruger could help them on a litany of legislative matters.
Kruger resigned from the state senate in December, just hours before he pleaded guilty to corruption charges.Reach reporter Colin MIxson at cmixson@cn