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Assemblyman William Boyland has been indicted on federal wire fraud on charges he falsely filed per diem reimbursement requests for travel while he was actually meeting with undercover FBI agents.
Federal authorities announced the charges earlier today.
Boyland beat pay-to-play charges in November 2011 but recent testimony by a former staffer has seen a return of Boyland's legal woes.
Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli's office decided to withold future per diem payments from Boyland in February after examining his requests.
Here is a statement from DiNapoli's office of Boyland's new indictment:
My office's examination of Mr. Boyland's expenses found a blatant pattern of abuse. The actions of U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta E. Lynch and the U.S. Department of Justice sends a clear message that elected officials who try to enrich themselves and break the public trust will be held accountable. The Office of State Comptroller will continue to cooperate with law enforcement officials in this serious matter.
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the M.T.A.'s finances have improved after years of crises thanks to increased ridership, higher tax collection, and cost-cutting measures. But he noted that fare hikes outpace inflation and financing sources for future projects remain unclear. The legal challenge to the payroll tax was also raised as a significant hurdle. Meanwhile, the state budget has generally stabilized from the recent past, when it lurched from multi-billion dollar crisis to crisis, he said.
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In response to criticism of its initially limited investigation into the sexual harassment scandal, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics has expanded its probe beyond Assemblyman Vito Lopez to include Assembly Speaker Silver, Attorney General Schneiderman and Comptroller DiNapoli. The decision was made in private as prescribed by law and gleaned from the subjects of the investigation. But board members wanted to publicly counter claims that there were attempts to block certain investigations. Gov. Cuomo has said he is open to some changes in the board and also said he'd form his own commission to probe the matter if the board fails.
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The Joint Commission on Public Ethics may be considering an expansion of their probe into Assemblyman Vito Lopez's sexual harassment suit. Ravi Batra, a member of the commission, quit over the weekend, claiming the board had no independence. He also said good government groups were more concerned with Albany access than real reform. The attorney general and comptroller have been playing down their roles in the settlement. Also, a new accuser - who is also a candidate for State Senate - says she was the victim of sexual harassment when she worked in the Assembly Ways and Means Committee.
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