Assemb. William Boyland guilty on all counts
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The political career of Brownsville Assemb. William Boyland Jr., a six-term Democrat who inherited a family dynasty in one of New York City's poorest neighborhoods, abruptly ended Thursday with his conviction on all 21 counts of corruption in federal court in Brooklyn.
Boyland, 43, faces more than 100 years in prison and automatically lost his seat after jurors took about four hours to find him guilty of taking bribes to do favors for two undercover FBI agents posing as businessmen, skimming state funds from a nonprofit and claiming $71,000 in phony travel expenses.
Boyland didn't react when he heard the first conviction to an extortion conspiracy charge. But as each guilty finding was announced by the jury foreman, Boyland put his hands to his face as he sat at the defense table and closed his eyes.
After the jury left the courtroom, Judge Sandra L. Townes immediately ordered Boyland taken into custody by U.S. marshals. She set sentencing for June 30 at 11:30 a.m. Townes said she was ordering Boyland jailed until sentencing because he attempted to contact a witness during the trial. Legal experts believe Boyland is likely to receive a sentence of more than 20 years from Townes.
Boyland got up slowly from his chair as the marshals prepared to handcuff him. Leaving the courtroom under guard, Boyland didn't look back at his father, William Boyland Sr., or mother Ruby.
He immediately lost his seat after his felony conviction, said a spokesman for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
The Assembly also removed Boyland's page from its website.
Boyland's departure means there are now 10 vacancies in the 150-member Assembly, along with two in the State Senate. But Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has given no indication that he'll call special elections to fill the seats before November.
Boyland, whose uncle and father held his Assembly seat from 1977 to 2002, was brought down by evidence during the one-month trial that included secret recordings of him asking the agents for money and testimony from a former chief-of-staff. Outside the courtroom, the 38-year-old jury foreman from Queens, who asked not to be identified, said as the evidence came in "the hole was getting deeper" for Boyland.
Talking with reporters, Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch said the case showed Boyland used his office to run "a course in corruption 101."
"The Boyland school of corruption is now officially closed," Lynch said.
"We are obviously disappointed at the verdict," defense attorney Peter Quijano said. "We look forward to preparing an appeal."
Staff writer Yancey Roy contributed to this story