Joe Bruno's Conviction May Get Overturned, Report Says
By Olivia Scheck on November 16, 2010 3:00pm
By Olivia Scheck
MANHATTAN — Former New York political kingpin Joseph Bruno may avoid jail time for a corruption scandal that rocked Albany two years ago, according to media reports.
In a letter to Bruno’s lawyer, U.S. Attorney Richard Hartunian reportedly agreed that a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision undermined the law used to convict the former Republican majority leader of the New York State Senate, the New York Post reported.
"We will concede that reversal is appropriate as a result of the instructional error," Hartunian said in a letter to Bruno’s attorney, William Dreyer, according to the Post.
Bruno, 82, was sentenced to two years in prison last May after he was convicted of having violated the public’s right to "honest services" by accepting consulting fees from an Albany businessman who had business before the state.
However, the judge in the case allowed Bruno to remain free pending the Supreme Court's decision in a set of cases related to the "honest services" statute that had been used to convict him, according to the article.
In his letter to Bruno's lawyer late last month, Hartunian reportedly agreed to dismiss those charges against Bruno if he would consent to new charges under a different section of the law.
Rather than take the deal, Bruno’s lawyers are reportedly pursuing an appeal of his conviction with the Circuit Court of Appeals to be filed next month, the paper reported.