Pre-trial conference held for Monday trial against Bruno - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Pre-trial conference held for Monday trial against Bruno

Posted: Updated: May 01, 2014 03:35 PM

ALBANY. N.Y. -- The final details were sorted out Thursday in what will be the second trial against former NYS Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno.

At a pre-trial hearing, the judge laid out ground rules and covered what will be allowed in the court when the trial begins on Monday.

Bruno, 85, is facing two counts of Honest Services Mail Fraud in connection with payments he received from a Loudonville businessman between 2004 and 2006 to help push business pending before the state government.

His lawyers maintain the payments were for consulting fees only.

In 2009, Bruno was convicted on similar charges, but they were thrown out by the Supreme Court, ruling the crime must include a bribe in exchange for official action or influence.

The judge ruled on four motions – the biggest was that the evidence from the two charges on which he was acquitted in the last trial will be admissible. Also, this will be a faster trial. Officials said it will last two weeks. Due to Bruno's medical conditions, which they wouldn't specify, the trial days will go from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There's a gag order on Bruno, and his attorneys said Thursday it precluded them from talking.

According to documents filed by federal prosecutors, Bruno could be found guilty even if there's no evidence that he promised to perform an official act in exchange for money. They only need to prove that bribery or kickbacks were involved.


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