MANHATTAN (CN) - A federal jury on Thursday acquitted Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. on charges that he traded political favors to a hospital executive in exchange for a no-show "consulting" job that earned him $175,000 over five years.
Boyland's alleged co-conspirator, former MediSys Health Network CEO David Rosen, was found guilty in September of trying to bribe Boyland and six others who were indicted in April. A conviction could have meant 20 years in prison for Boyland.
Before being elected to the Assembly in 2003, Boyland worked for a hospital owned by MediSys, the company from which he was accused of taking bribes.
As a common worker, Boyland had to clock his hours, but prosecutors said his position morphed into a no-show job when he was elected.
Boyland made $35,000 a year on consulting fees, in addition to the $79,000 he made as an assemblyman, prosecutors said.
In a Sept. 16, 2003 email, David Rosen told MediSys Chief Financial Officer Mounir Doss, "Please get [Boyland] off the payroll so he doesn't have to punch in, and create a vendor check."
Prosecutors displayed follow-up emails showing Rosen checking the status of the "payroll situation."
Boyland was made a consultant for Urban Strategies community affairs division on April 27, 2004, an email showed.
Prosecutors said the only emails between Rosen and Boyland after that show them communicating "pretty much exclusively" about upcoming votes in Albany.
But Urban Strategies community affair director Phoebe Layne testified at trial that she never saw or spoke to him.
Neither did Joan Sclafani, former associate administrator at its affiliated Brookdale Hospital; Ole Pederseon, Brookdale's vice president of public affairs; nor Bruce Flanz, chief operating officer of MediSys, prosecutors said.
Defense attorneys for Boyland said the assemblyman, who comes from a politically connected family, was a "brand name" who helped the hospital with his affiliation alone.
Boyland's sister, former Brooklyn Councilwoman Tracy Boyland, helped MediSys obtain grants. The assemblyman inherited the office from his father, William Boyland Sr. His mother, Ruby, worked for Jamaica Hospital.
Defense attorney Richard Rosenberg claimed that the position was "all about good will ... from a prominent family."
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