Updated 03/10/2011 08:56 PM
Lawmakers react to Kruger scandal
At the Capitol, Kruger's charges were met with little surprise. In the past few years, Albany has been fraught with political scandal. Our Erin Billups has more.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- On March 10th, 2008 news broke that then Governor Eliot Spitzer was involved in a prostitution scandal. Now, exactly three years later, the Capitol is once again shrouded in a cloud of shame as two more legislators are added to the list of Albany lawmakers under indictment.
"It stains the entire legislature when something like this happens," said Senator Martin Golden.
Brooklyn lawmakers, Senator Carl Kruger and Assemblyman William Boyland Jr., surrendered to federal prosecutors Thursday on bribery charges. Their colleagues on both sides of the aisle were quick to denounce their alleged behavior.
"The actions that are alleged are just deplorable and I hope that the criminal justice system will deal with them to the fullest extent of the law," said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
"It's disgusting and it needs to stop," said Senate Deputy Majority Leader Tom Libous.
State Republican Chairman Ed Cox went as far as to say Democratic lawmakers need to deal with this issue of corruption.
"Are you calling this a democratic problem and not a republican problem?" our reporter asked.
Cox replied, "This is definitely a democratic problem."
In response, Democratic lawmakers point to some disgraced Republicans, including former State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno, saying unethical behavior crosses party lines.
"As in any field, there are a few bad apples," Silver said.
The scandal prompted Governor Cuomo to again urge the legislature to pass comprehensive ethics reform. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says the Assembly is "virtually in agreement" with Cuomo. They're still working on a three-way agreement with the Senate.
"We obviously are going to look at how we can implement a very, very tough disciplined ethics law moving forward," Libous said.
But several lawmakers argue even if changes are made to the law, it may not make a difference.
"People who want to do ethical wrong doing are going to do it anyway, it doesn't matter how many rules you put in place," said Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson.
Lawmakers say ultimately it's up to voters and their local community leaders to chose worthy candidates to serve them or risk seeing more lawmakers behind bars.