Former Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, who was found guilty on two of eight charges in a federal corruption trial, said “I am very, very disappointed in the verdict. The legal process is going to continue. In my mind and in my heart, it is not over until it’s over. And I think it’s far from over. Thank you all, have a good night and merry Christmas."
The Post reports, "The stunning verdict - which will be widely seen as a condemnation of Albany’s pay-to-play culture and the practice of allowing lawmakers to keep lucrative side jobs - casts a pall over the decade Bruno spent as one of the state’s most powerful Republicans." Indeed, Bruno's decades sending money to his upstate district loomed large; a juror told the Times-Union, "It was very hard to convict him when he's done so much for the area. But we couldn't look at that. Our job was to decide the case based on the evidence presented to us." (The Observer has a roundup of more observations.)
The two guilty charges—mail and wire fraud—were related to his dealings with upstate businessman Jared Abbruzzese, one involving fees Bruno got for a consulting business with Abbruzzese and another related to a horse breeding partnership. Bruno faces up to 20 years per count, plus $250,000 in fines each. Sentencing is next March.