Chief Investigative Reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

Ex-NY State Senate Leader Acquitted of Federal Fraud Charges

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The former leader of the New York state Senate has been found not guilty of federal fraud charges.

    A jury announced the verdict in retired Sen. Joe Bruno's case on Friday, the second day of deliberations in Albany.

    In closing statements, prosecutors and defense attorneys had accused each other of using half-truths and misrepresenting the testimony about Bruno and his dealings with businessman Jared Abbruzzese.

    Prosecutors said Bruno did no actual work for consulting payments while directing state grants to one of Abbruzzese's companies.

    The 85-year-old Bruno didn't testify, but had denied any wrongdoing. Abbruzzese testified that the payments weren't bribes.

    The Rensselaer County Republican led the Senate's majority for 14 years before stepping down in 2008.

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