Following Convictions, Bruno Quits Consulting Gig - NBC New York

Following Convictions, Bruno Quits Consulting Gig



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    Former GOP leader in New York, Joseph Bruno.

    Former New York Senate leader Joseph Bruno has quit his consulting job following his conviction on two corruption counts in federal court.

    Bruno, 80, plans to appeal the fraud convictions under the "honest services" statute, which is being reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court in three other cases. He was acquitted on five counts with the jury divided on a sixth.

    Sentencing is scheduled for March 31. 

    CMA Consulting Services in suburban Albany says Bruno resigned Tuesday as chief executive. President Kay Stafford will resume that role. She hired Bruno in 2008 after he retired as leader of the Senate's Republican majority and a Rensselaer County lawmaker.

    The information technology company also has offices in New York City; Washington, D.C.; Phoenix and Austin, Texas.

    Many of New York's 212 lawmakers, who make at least $79,500 in their part-time jobs, have outside employment. Bruno and his attorneys argued that the federal court was the wrong place to put on trial that entire system, where conflicts of interest are inevitable. They said Bruno did not put his own interests before the public's and that any conflicts or perceived conflicts were insignificant.

    The jury heard three weeks of testimony from more than 70 witnesses. Bruno declined to testify, instead standing in front of cameras on the courthouse steps confidently repeating that he had done nothing wrong.

    Bruno was released on his own recognizance. U.S. District Court Judge Gary Sharpe declined requests by prosecutors that Bruno turn in his passport.

    Bruno was convicted of mail fraud for checks sent by Communication Technology Advisors and Capital & Technology Advisors to Capital Business Consultants, Bruno's later consulting company. The companies' majority owner was Jared Abbruzzese, a Bruno friend and business associate. Bruno sponsored state grants for Evident Technologies, a company in which Abbruzzese was an investor.

    Bruno also was convicted of mail fraud for a $40,000 check sent from Bazaguma LLC, Abbruzzese's thoroughbred business, to Business Consultants, Bruno's consulting firm, for a foal that came from a joint breeding venture by Bruno, Abbruzzese and a third partner.