Corruption looked like a family affair Wednesday at the bribery trial of Assemb. William Boyland Jr. as prosecutors played a video of his father, a former state legislator, allegedly acting as a bagman for his son by taking money from an FBI agent posing as a corrupt businessman.
Undercover agent Brian Getson testified that while he waited in a reception area of Boyland's office to deliver a $3,000 payoff for help getting carnival permits, former Assemb. William "Frank" Boyland Sr. emerged from his son's private sanctum.
"Let's step outside and I'll take care of this," the father whispered to the agent on a secretly recorded video. When the agent asked, "Outside it's OK?" Boyland Sr. responded, "You know how it is."
On the street outside the Brooklyn district office, the agent filled in a check on the roof of Boyland Jr.'s car. Boyland Sr. took it and said, "Alright, just legally, you know, you know, this is against the law, right?"
Boyland Jr., 43, who has represented Brownsville since 2003, is charged with accepting and soliciting bribes from undercover agents for help with carnival permits and a real estate deal, skimming money from a nonprofit and filing bogus legislative expenses.
His father, who held the same seat for 20 years, has been named as an unindicted co-conspirator. He has been attending the trial, and declined to comment Wednesday. Boyland Jr. says he never did anything to actually help the agents trying to bribe him.
In the first two days of trial, prosecutors have played a series of tapes beginning in October 2010, in which Getson -- posing as a Philadelphia exporter helping out a carnival promoter who was a government informant -- wined and dined Boyland at swanky steak houses.
Although Boyland's district is one of the most impoverished in the city, he indicated in one conversation that representing them just didn't pay his bills and he relied on outside deals.
"I put people together," he said. "Today, I mean, that's how I live. We make $79,500 as Assembly members. What the hell, that's maybe my son's tuition and maybe I can pay for some gas, you know? . . . The way I sustain myself outside of that is we manage money."
The $3,000 payment came in late February, after four months of talking in which Boyland hadn't done much to move along the carnival permits. He said he needed money for a gospel concert, and then said he needed it to bus constituents to Albany. After handing the check to the father, Getson said, he met with Boyland, giving him letters to sign to city agencies supporting carnival permits. Days later, he testified, Boyland's chief of staff called and promised to "expedite" the applications.