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Prosecutors Seek an 8-Year Term for Bruno

April 26, 2010

Our old friend Joe Bruno (sarcasm) is up for sentencing soon for his business dealings while still a legislator:

Federal prosecutors are seeking more than eight years of prison time for Joseph L. Bruno, the former Republican majority leader of the State Senate, as punishment for concealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments from a businessman who sought help from the Legislature.

In a 14-page sentencing memorandum submitted on Friday to Judge Gary L. Sharpe of United States District Court in Albany, prosecutors said Mr. Bruno, 81, merited the sentence because he had abused a position of enormous public trust to enrich himself and because he continued to deny any wrongdoing. Prosecutors are also seeking $280,000 in restitution from Mr. Bruno, a penalty his lawyers said he would accept.

In December, a jury found Mr. Bruno, once one of the most powerful officials in state government, guilty on two counts of honest services fraud in a case that cast a harsh light on the former senator’s commingling of business and politics. Mr. Bruno has insisted that he did nothing wrong and has vowed to appeal his conviction. The judge is expected to announce the sentence on May 6.

“The nature and circumstances of this offense are particularly egregious,” Elizabeth C. Coombe and William C. Pericak, the assistant United States attorneys who led the case against Mr. Bruno, wrote in the memorandum.

“Defendant, whose position as New York State Senate majority leader made him one of the three most powerful men in New York State, exploited his office for his own personal gain.”

Mr. Bruno’s lawyers, William J. Dreyer and April M. Wilson, wrote in their own sentencing memorandum to Judge Sharpe, also filed on Friday, that Mr. Bruno did not deserve any prison time at all and that applicable sentencing guidelines indicated that he should face, at most, six months behind bars.

Their 60-page memorandum details Mr. Bruno’s life and upbringing — including his childhood membership in the Boy Scouts and his Army service in Korea — and what it says were Mr. Bruno’s contributions to his community, including tens of millions of dollars’ worth of economic development and earmarks. The memorandum also features testimonials.

Because of his age and because he has retired from public life, Mr. Dreyer and Ms. Wilson argued, incarceration would serve no purpose. “A non-jail sentence is sufficient, but not greater than necessary for these conflict-of-interest crimes,” they wrote.



  1. Young Republican permalink
    April 26, 2010 2:14 pm

    Are they going to make a special ward for Senate Majority Leaders? Bruno, Espada, and Smith can all have a good time together (living off the taxpayers dime – but this time) in prison.

    • Gerry permalink
      April 26, 2010 2:23 pm

      Good one!

  2. GATECRASHER permalink
    April 26, 2010 11:55 pm

    Don’t forget how Joseph Bruno gave Marty Golden his start.
    OMG, it was a dirty deal from the very beginning!

    From: “The Joe Bruno Democrats (Pilot Episode)”
    The Daily Gotham, 10/23/07

    A race in 2002 set new precedents for how far Joe Bruno could go in buying off local Democratic party officials, with no one taking any steps to enforce discipline. This was the race where incumbent Vinnie Gentile[’]s district was decimated in reapportionment, as the Republicans prepared to beat him with Bay Ridge Councilman Marty Golden.

    Let me talk a little about Mr. Golden. “Progressives”, like Chris Owens have sought to vilify County Leader Vito Lopez for the sweet deal developer Bruce Ratner got in the recently passed 421-A tax abatement legislation, laying the blame entirely upon Lopez. And certainly, Lopez acquiesced in this sordid little deal. But the “progressive” blogocracy has been so eager to use this as a bludgeon to beat Lopez that they’ve ignored the real culprit. As virtually only left blogger Daniel Millstone has pointed out, the 421-A bill did a lot to benefit residents of poor neighborhoods, which was clearly Lopez’s priority. To get what he wanted, Lopez admits to acquiescing to the demands of the Senate Republicans, who cared only about the Real Estate Board’s #1 priority, Mr. Ratner (as they sold out hundreds of other landlords; I’d cry if it weren’t so funny). It’s all documented in a June 29, 2007, New York Times article. The ringleader carrying Mr. Ratner’s water: Marty Golden. Yet, the “progressive” blogocracy puts all the blame on Lopez, and ignores, for perhaps the first and only time, the opportunity to bash a Senate Republican. Aren’t their priorities somewhat out of whack? Well, they may be Progressive Democrats, but they’re still Brooklyn Democrats, so I guess it’s only natural that they go a little soft on Marty Golden.

    The 2002 race where Golden won election was an historical landmark. It was nothing new for Brooklyn Democrats to endorse Republicans for President, Governor and Mayor, but never had Brooklyn Dems jumped ship, en masse, to desert a local incumbent. Nonetheless, one had to forgive them, for they only gave up their support after hours of torture being forced to contemplate huge piles of cash, pork and patronage. Five members of the Democratic State Committee jumped ship, as did an incumbent Councilmen, Assemblyman and, incredibly, a Democratic State Senator. And no one was punished. In fact, the conspirators prospered; one became a judge.

    The next year, to show there were no hard feeling, some of the conspirators actually backed Gentile for the remainder of Golden’s Council term. How perfect. Much better to have a Democratic Councilman and a Republican State Senator than the other way around. Good for the neighborhood. Good for Brooklyn. This race became the model for Joe Bruno’s dream operation, and epitomizes the obstacles in the way of a Democratic Senate (although a few honorable heroes like District Leader Bernie Catcher and Councilman Dominick Recchia stood out from the muck).

    As such, I have taken names, and will be naming them; I’m fully pumped and loaded for bear, as I embark upon the beginning of what I intend to become a regular and recurring series: “The Joe Bruno Democrats”….

  3. Domenick Recchia Is No Hero permalink
    April 27, 2010 1:22 am

    Domenick Recchia is no hero. He is deep in bed with Joe Sitt and has sold out his Coney Island constituents. Recchia is a piece of feces.

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