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Sunday, November 1, 2009

NY's Corruption Lets No Penny Go Unstolen

Ex-N.Y. Senate leader faces corruption trial
Bruno accused of accepting commissions, gifts in return for favors

The Associated Press by Michael Virtanen - November 1, 2009

ALBANY, N.Y. -- For more than a decade, state Senate Republican leader Joseph L. Bruno was a top power broker in New York. The backslapping ex-boxer was gruffly unapologetic over the millions in pork projects that he grabbed for his upstate district. On Monday, he faces trial on charges that could tarnish his legacy, send him to prison and serve as a de facto indictment of Albany's oft-criticized political culture. Federal prosecutors accuse Bruno of collecting $3.2 million in commissions and gifts over 13 years in return for using his state influence to benefit a dozen labor unions and three private businessmen. He has pleaded not guilty and denounced the eight-count January indictment as a politically motivated fishing expedition. The trial is expected to last weeks.

The charges against Bruno, 80, are the latest in a line of corruption cases against New York officials over the past two decades. Assembly Speaker Mel Miller was convicted of fraud in 1991 and Sen. Guy Velella went to jail for bribery conspiracy in 2004. Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi -- reelected while under indictment -- was convicted of using state workers to chauffeur his wife in 2006. This year, former health commissioner Antonia Novello, once the U.S. surgeon general, was convicted of using state workers to help her with shopping and other personal business. Lawrence Norden, senior counsel at New York University Law School's Brennan Center for Justice, said oversight has been lacking for a long time, particularly by legislators and partly the result of the concentration of power in three offices: the governor, Senate majority leader and Assembly speaker. By 2008, the Senate Ethics Committee hadn't met in 10 years, he said. The committee held hearings again this year. Norden said he expects the trial to shed light on the "pay-to-play" culture that's still "very much a reality" in the state capital. "I think that's what this prosecution is all about," he said.

Bruno, who grabbed the New York Senate Republican majority's leadership post in a 1994 overthrow, doggedly courted high-tech projects for New York, often in his district. But in many ways, he was an old-time pol, a guy who used phrases like "a man's man," occasionally cursed in news conferences, paused to chat with young female reporters and interns, and seethed when he felt a handshake deal was broken. Bruno resigned in the summer of 2008, only months after Democratic Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer -- the political nemesis Bruno once dismissed as "fancy, dance-y, prance-y" -- fell from power in a prostitution scandal. The three-year federal investigation of Bruno led to charges a few months after that. Free until trial without having to post bail, Bruno declined requests for an interview. In court papers, he acknowledged running a sideline consulting business since 1993 but said he simply got paid for work he did. "I'm looking forward to the justice system and I have a lot of confidence in that and that a jury will decide our innocence," Bruno said after a preliminary hearing last week. Prosecutors allege Bruno sold his favorable influence to union officials, who put their pension funds with the investment company and stock brokerage that paid him commissions. They allege he also helped three private businessmen with state interests, getting large payments in return. The indictment didn't specify what they got, saying only that Bruno "did take discretionary official action on legislative, funding, contract, and regulatory issues" that benefited them. -- Associated Press


garbage man said...

The lack of ethics in this sorry state is very sad. Our leaders are garbage, and I know garbage- I deal with it 8 hours a day!

Anonymous said...

Bruno knows he belongs in jail. The question is who he thinks should join him.

Anonymous said...

Why only Bruno; Silver was the other half? They can be reunited in the same jail cell along with Chief Judge Lippman, Silver's boyhood Schul crony.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Why isn't Shelly Silver behind bars? He has single handedly ruled the corruption in the state for too many years. Get rid of this bum.

Jail4Judges said...

What about all the corrupt Judges that these bums put on the bench? Don't hold your breath for the FBI or any one from Washington, they don't care.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone noticed there are ALOT of THUGS going to trial recently for corruption?...DO THE MATH!!! New York needs to be ROCKED and REAL SOON!!!!! Smells like JAIL to me..the phone wires must be burning.

Anonymous said...

The Petters trial has begun and the witness list already is de minus the key persons guilty most.

Paul Traub, Frank Vennes and the protected Jeffries.

The NY Supreme Court case 601805/2002 has nearly 1/2 the docket Under SEAL as Traub knows we caught them red-handed (previously) by docket record faux pas.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above poster..J4J

If we had held our breath...

we'd be dead already...

Anonymous said...

What I find interesting is that the people who are getting charged have one foot in the grave.

Maybe it's easier to get these people when they are on their way out and those around them figure they don't have the power they used to.

It would be nice if they got some of the up-and-comers and those in their prime.

But, that may be asking too much.

Anonymous said...

to the above poster..

you noticed that too... lol..

So speedy... they caught the almost dead guy... LOL

says alot about their prowess... don't it...

Anonymous said...

All of this is so criminal but nothing happens. Why?

Anonymous said...

it all seems like an exchange of corrupt power, some who want power are making sure they get rid others!

Anonymous said...

Well I called the F.B.I Manhattan on a Third Party Debt Collection Fraud.. they told me to call the Suffolk D.A. and it is his office that would refer the matter to them..

Given my success with the Suffolk D.A. thus far... I'm inclined to believe.. that was a punt from the F.B.I.

So a simple to prove $50k fraud... with millions implicated doesn't peek their interest... Ho HUM...

Anonymous said...

Talk about stealing, I just realized that the 'stipend' that Lippman has awarded the judges is actually and legally a pay raise.

This article even states this fact when it says that the money is "taxable as income." They got it absolutely correct. Under both Federal and State tax law, this money is income. This is no "back-door" increase, it's upfront and in our faces.

Just as the Judges, attorneys and OCA continue to create their own laws, rules and courts, they continue to show their arrogance and contempt for the citizens of this state who they are supposed to work for and who pay their salaries.

No wonder New York is the capital of and poster child for corruption and financial misconduct. We have lawyers running this state.

Just as the New York bron and bred Madoff was allowed to get away with his Ponzi scheme and just about destroy the economies of the US and most of the rest of the world, NY lawyers and courts are getting away with making a mockery of the Constitutions of NY and the US.

Just look at what all the politicians, lawyers, judges and administrative personnel and thier connections are getting away with. To me, this all looks like a 'legal ponzi' scheme. When this crumbles, they'll be looking back at the attorneys, judges and illegal court decsions and rulings and trying to explain how and why it happened.

For all the laws and rules that have been enacted, none of that is worth a hill of beans if all they are being used for is to protect themselves.

Here's a news flash, they are supposed to take complaints from citizens. The laws and rules are meant to protect us from them. Not to protect themselves from us.

It's clear that they still don't get it. As seen recently in the Westchester Guardian, the new Administrative Judge, Scheinkman for the 9th Judicial District has decided to make changes in his court, so he only solicits suggestions from attorneys. Talk about the fox running the hen house. I think it's clear where he is coming from and how this will end up.

These people still don't get it. They are only fooling themselves.

Anonymous said...

Yet another Lippman swindle. When will he and his minions be brought to JUSTICE?

Anonymous said...

how do you bring the corrupt to justice, you play their game....
it is time a Corruption Edition is printed, monitored by the Citizens of New York for every county
to prove the corruption!

So it will not just be Anderson's word for it, it will be in print all over our counties and the citizens will no longer be afraid to speak out for their rights and the corrupt will fall...........

Blog Archive

See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:

               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 1
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 2
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