After a three-month standoff, Assemb. William Boyland on Friday got Brooklyn U.S. District Judge Sandra Townes to restore what she took away in December -- his right to a taxpayer-funded lawyer for his bribery and extortion conspiracy case.
Boyland was given a free lawyer when he was charged in Brooklyn in November, 2011. But a year later, Townes ordered him to hire his own lawyer -- citing his Assembly salary, a house, and rent payments he received. But since then, Boyland had appeared repeatedly in court on his own, saying the legal retainers were too high and his finances were eroding.
In February, the state Comptroller suspended Boyland's right to receive "per diem" payments for time spent in Albany representing his Brooklyn legislative district because he had failed to pay back $67,000 in improper past charges. On Friday, citing monthly costs that now include $675 for travel, $665 for lodging and $250 for meals among other changed circumstances, Townes relented and restored his right to a court-paid lawyer.
On Thursday, Boyland's chief of staff Ryan Hermon pleaded guilty and implicated Boyland in bribery and extortion schemes. No trial date has been docketed yet for Boyland.