Brooklyn Assemb. William F. Boyland Jr.'s chief of staff asked for her own payoff after complaining to an undercover agent that her boss would never share his bribes, according to a secret recording played at the legislator's federal corruption trial Thursday.
"If you're trying to give me a bonus check or whatever check, bring it," Boyland aide Ry-Ann Hermon said. "But if you're doing it through the assemblyman, I won't see it."
Hermon was charged with Boyland in 2011, but pleaded guilty and is expected to appear as a prosecution witness at the trial in federal court in Brooklyn. Boyland, a Democrat, was charged with taking bribes from undercover agents, skimming money from a nonprofit, and filing bogus expense reports.
FBI agent Brian Getson, posing as a corrupt businessman from Philadelphia, met with Hermon at Manhattan's Blue Water Grill after giving Boyland a $3,800 campaign contribution and a $3,000 payoff to secure his help in getting carnival permits.
When the agent told Hermon he would give her $1,000 on the spot, she was thrilled. "I would love that," she said. "Are you serious? Oh my God! You just, like, made me hot!"
Later in their meeting, after promising to be "very accessible," Hermon strategized about how to handle the payment with Boyland.
"So, am I telling my boss about this?" she asked.
"You can if you want," the agent said.
"I'm not going to," Hermon responded. "He would definitely expect me to give him something. And I don't want to."
"We do all the work," she added later. " . . . He wants to be a don."
Hermon last year pleaded guilty in federal court in Brooklyn to six counts of bribery, extortion and conspiracy, saying that she aided Boyland in soliciting bribes for help with the carnival permits and a real estate deal.
Boyland, 43, has represented the Brownsville neighborhood in Brooklyn in the Assembly since 2003, following in the footsteps of his father, who represented the same district for 20 years. He faces a potential maximum of more than 100 years in prison.