Former Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno’s second criminal trial on mail fraud charges has a scheduled start date: Dec. 2.
U.S. District Court Judge Gary Sharpe ordered the new date for the trial, which will take place in the federal courthouse in Albany.
Bruno, 84, was one of the state Capitol’s infamous “three men in a room” as the powerful leader of the state Senate from 1994 to 2008. The Rensselaer County Republican was first elected to office in 1976.
He was convicted of mail fraud in 2009 on charges he accepted more than $400,000 in shady payments from Albany-area businessman Jared Abruzzese, but his conviction was tossed after the U.S. Supreme Court threw out a portion of the “honest services” statute he was charged under.
But a mid-level federal appeals court ruled a new trial does not constitute double jeopardy, so long as prosecutors can prove there was a clear bribe or kickback—something they didn’t try to do at the first trial.
(AP file photo)