ALBANY N.Y – The trial for former Republican Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno, facing two counts of Honest Services Mail Fraud, continues.
On the second day of the trail, Bruno’s former secretary, Patricia Stack-Row, was the first witness to be called by the government. She testified that she handled his schedule and personal finances. She also said she was responsible for filing the financial disclosure records and sought advice from the senate attorney.
It has been more than five years since Joe Bruno's first trial in Supreme Court. Prosecutors say they'll once again show the former politician is guilty of bribery. A jury comprised of nine women and three men was sat on Monday and opening statements began.
"I'm just looking forward to getting this long ordeal behind me. I'm just tired. The last nine years this has been going on, nine years," said Bruno.
Authorities say Bruno, 85, accepted payments from a Loudonville businessman between 2004 and 2006, to help push business pending before the state government. Bruno's lawyers say the payments were for consulting fees only.
In 2009, Bruno was brought up on similar charges, but were thrown out by the Supreme Court, ruling the prosecutors had to show that a bribe or kickback were involved.
There was a pre-trial hearing last week the judge ruled on four motions, the biggest one being that evidence from the two charges Bruno was acquitted in the last trial will be admissible for this trial.
This trial was scheduled to start in December, but it was put off until now so the former New York senator could recover from surgery.
Bruno underwent surgery for kidney cancer in New York City in September of 2013. He had been previously treated for prostate cancer back in 2003.
And due to his medical conditions, the judge is allowing trial days to start at 10 instead of 9 a.m.
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