McLaughlin released from prison

By Alex Robinson

After serving five years in the slammer for racketeering, Brian McLaughlin is a free man.

The disgraced former assemblyman was released from prison Oct. 10, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

McLaughlin was a widely respected politician and head of the city’s powerful Central Labor Council before he was arrested in 2006 and charged with 43 counts of racketeering.

He admitted to embezzling millions of dollars from the Electchester Little League, labor groups and his own re-election committee. He pleaded guilty in 2009 to one count of racketeering and one count of making false statements.

McLaughlin was first elected to represent Flushing in the state Assembly in 1992 and was president of Local 3 of the. He did not run for re-election after he was arrested and left office at the end of 2006. Before his downfall he had been mentioned as a possible Democratic candidate for mayor.

Though he was initially sentenced to 10 years, his penalty was slashed for good behavior and because he cooperated with prosecutors by wearing a wire in their investigations of other public officials, including late Assemblyman Anthony Seminario, court documents show.

Michael Armstrong, McLaughlin’s attorney, did not return requests for comment.

Seminerio’s conviction relied heavily on McLaughlin’s cooperation because he had vouched for an undercover FBI agent who was posing as a developer, prosecutors said in court documents.

Seminerio, who died in prison while serving a six-year sentence, set up meetings between the FBI agent and several state legislators in exchange for cash and even brought him out onto the floor of the Assembly as his personal guest, according to court documents.

Prosecutors also gathered evidence with McLaughlin’s help that led to the convictions of David Rosen, the former chief executive of the nonprofit MediSys Health Network and former Brooklyn state Sen. Carl Kruger on corruption charges.

In a recorded conversation, Rosen referred to Kruger and Seminerio as “my two guys who know what to say” in Albany, when discussing his nonprofit’s interests, court documents said.

Kruger pleaded guilty to corruption charges and was sentenced to seven years in prison. Rosen was sentenced to three years for bribing state legislators in exchange for lobbying on his nonprofit’s behalf.

McLaughlin will now be on probation for three years, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Reach reporter Alex Robinson by e-mail at arobi‌nson@‌cnglo‌cal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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