Alec Brook-Krasny: the comeback kid?

February 27, 2020 Paula Katinas
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Alec Brook-Krasny, the former New York State assemblymember who was acquitted of fraud charges following a highly publicized trial, is mapping out his political comeback. The former pol confirmed that he is taking a serious look at running for City Council next year.

“Yes, I am running. I am going to do it,” Brook-Krasny told the Home Reporter in a brief phone interview on Thursday. “I first wanted to reach out to people in the district to see if they wanted me to run. They did.”

The New York Post was the first to report on Brook-Krasny’s plans for a political comeback.

The seat Brook-Krasny has his eye on, the 47th Council District, is currently held by Democrat Mark Treyger, who is term-limited and has to leave office at the end of 2021. The district covers Coney Island, Gravesend and includes parts of Bensonhurst.

Brook-Krasny, a Democrat, represented the 46th Assembly District from 2006 until he resigned in 2015. 

Treyger is the Democratic Party’s district leader in the 46th A.D. and will play an important role in the process of selecting a candidate to succeed him in the Council.

The 46th A.D. includes much of the same territory as the Council seat, including Coney Island. But it also takes in parts of Dyker Heights and Bay Ridge. In the interview with the Home Reporter, Brook-Krasny pointed out the overlapping territory between his old Assembly district and the Council district he now wants to represent.

“I represented Coney Island, so I certainly will be a familiar face to voters,” he said.

Brook-Krasny, who was born and raised in the former Soviet Union, emigrated to the U.S. as a young man. He was the first Soviet-born man to serve in the New York State Assembly and achieved near-iconic status among his fellow Russian immigrants in the Coney Island area during his political career.

But while Brook-Krasny is a familiar face to many in the Council district, his familiarity has also come at a high price.

In 2017, two years after he resigned from the Assembly to work in the private sector, he was indicted for medical fraud and other charges in connection with an alleged Medicare scam. At the time, Brook-Krasny was working for a medical lab, Quality Laboratory Services in Sheepshead Bay. He was indicted along with 12 other suspects, including doctors associated with the lab.

The defendants allegedly ran a “pill mill” with the goal of prescribing painkillers to patients. Many of the defendants also encouraged patients to undergo unnecessary medical tests in order to continue receiving opioid prescriptions, according to the indictment. The defendants then allegedly received reimbursements from Medicaid and Medicare, the indictment alleged.

Brook-Krasny was charged in the indictment with conspiracy, health care fraud, scheme to defraud and scheme to defraud by unlawfully selling prescriptions.

In July 2019, following a months-long trial, he was acquitted of the most serious charges. New York State Supreme Court Justice Maxwell Wiley, who presided over the trial, declared a mistrial on three misdemeanor counts against Brook-Krasny.

The misdemeanor charges were dropped in December.

Brook-Krasny posted a statement on his Facebook page after he was found not guilty.

“Life is filled with a beautiful bouquet of experiences, events, emotions, but unfortunately, a part of this are trials and tribulations. I am relieved that this nightmare has FINALLY come to an end, and that justice has FINALLY found its way to the surface,” he wrote, adding that he was grateful for the support of his family, loyal friends and his lawyers “who from the very start were 100 percent sure that I could never, in this lifetime, have been guilty of anything at all!”

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