Brooklyn Assemb. William Boyland Jr. backed out of an expected guilty plea to federal corruption charges at the last minute on Tuesday and agreed to a trial date in either December or January.
"William Boyland Jr. stands by his plea of not guilty and looks forward to being exonerated," said defense lawyer Peter Quijano, who declined to say what derailed a deal. "There were ongoing plea negotiations, but there was no agreement between the parties."
Boyland, facing bribery and fraud charges in Brooklyn federal court that could put him in jail for up to 30 years, came to court with his father and a coterie of supporters for a scheduled plea before a magistrate.
But he left moments before the hearing was to begin and instead made an unscheduled appearance before U.S. District Judge Sandra Townes to schedule a trial date. It will begin Dec. 2 or Jan. 13, depending on Townes' schedule.
Boyland's former chief of staff implicated Boyland in schemes to solicit bribes from a carnival promoter and a $250,000 payoff from FBI agents posing as real estate developers, and agreed to cooperate with the prosecution when she pleaded guilty in March.