MANHATTAN (CN) – Wiretapped phone calls made an early debut in the trial of a hospital executive charged with conspiring to bribe a New York State senator and with paying off two assemblymen.
David Rosen, former CEO of the MediSys Health Network, allegedly played a key role in a scheme to bribe state Sen. Carl Kruger, a Democrat, to the tune of $1 million. He also put hundreds of thousands in the pockets of two other Democrats, state Assemblymen William Boyland Jr. and Anthony Seminerio, in return for official favors, authorities say.
MediSys supports Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, Brookdale Hospital Medical Center, Flushing Hospital Medical Center and Peninsula Medical Center.
Kruger, Boyland and Rosen have pleaded not guilty to corruption charges. Boyland’s trial date has been set for Nov. 1. Seminario died in prison on Jan. 6, months into a six-year sentence after pleading guilty to the charges against him.
On Monday, Seminario’s voice was heard in government wiretaps against Rosen, who allegedly paid the assemblyman an estimated $390,000.
In an April 23, 2008, phone call, Seminerio and Rosen talk about an upcoming election race, and Seminerio brags, “I’ve been, like, the, forget about it. I- I get things moved that, members come to me to help them get their bills out of the Senate.” He adds that even his office staff constantly ask him, “Well, how come they’re coming to you?”
“You’re the only guy that knows how to move and shake,” Rosen replies in the tape.
They talk about the value of “street smarts” and the importance of having a “deeper sense of the world” until Seminerio interrupts, saying, “All right, I’m gonna put on here ‘Attention: Mr. Rosen.'”
“Okay, you do that,” Rosen says. “Let me go shake out your check.”
Seminerio is also recorded discussing his close relationship with Joseph Bruno, the former Republican majority leader of the New York Senate, who was convicted of two counts of mail and wire fraud in 2009.
“Dave, let me tell you something,” Seminerio tells Rosen on the tape. “You know, and I can tell it to you. I walk into Bruno’s office like I walk into your office.”
He adds, later, “So that- that kind of relationship you can’t buy for a million dollars.”
The wiretaps were introduced as evidence during the testimony of Rosen’s former assistant, Olga Cendroski.
On cross-examination, Cendroski defended Rosen, saying, “I think he has the highest integrity.” She added that Rosen is “dedicated to the Nth degree.”
Earlier, Cendroski told Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Scott Bosworth that Seminario’s fax number was on speed dial, and that she could not remember whether her boss faxed any other politicians as frequently.
Bosworth asked Cendroski a series of questions about Assemblyman Boyland, whose family had connections to multiple MediSys-linked institutions.
The assemblyman’s sister, former Brooklyn councilwoman Tracy Boyland, got grants awarded to MediSys. He inherited the office from his father, William Sr., and his mother, Ruby, worked for Jamaica Hospital.
In one email, Rosen discusses writing a check to Tracy’s senatorial campaign.
In another, Cendroski tells Rosen that the assemblyman wants to arrange two meetings for him, and Rosen replies, “Anything he wants.”
“No comment,” Cendroski says.
In court, Cendroski testified that she made that remark “probably trying to be funny.”
The next witness, Angelo Canedo, worked for MediSys for more than two decades as the vice president of rehabilitation services. He testified at length that an ambulance service with a poor performance record became the “seemingly preferred provider.”
Canedo said Evenflow had poor equipment, did not transport patients quickly enough and posed problems for patients with severe disabilities.
When he complained to Rosen, he was told: “Fix it. Make it happen.”
Canedo said that he followed Rosen’s advice “halfway,” continuing to use the service for more “high-level” patients.
Witness testimony continues on Tuesday, and the government is expected to rest after about a week. Rosen waived his right to a jury trial, and his case will be decided by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff.
If convicted, he will spend up to 20 years in prison.