ALBANY, N.Y. – In a surprise announcement in court Monday, Joe Bruno’s longtime personal assistant testified that she stole money from the former State Senator.
Pat Stackrow, who referred to herself as Bruno’s “gatekeeper” for 24 years, said she embezzled the money as retaliation for the Senator’s treatment of her. She made the statements under the cover of immunity.
Stackrow was the main witness Monday, the first day of week three in Bruno’s corruption trial.
Before her confession, Stackrow testified that she did all of Bruno’s personal shopping, balanced his checkbooks, and even handled some of his business records.
As for the former Senator, he told the media Monday that he had just as much right as any other lawmaker to have outside business interests.
Admitting to being a businessperson first and Senator second, Bruno said, “I wanted to always stay in business. I ran for the Senate because it was part-time legislature. If it was full-time, I never would have run in the first place.”
Stackrow was followed on the stand by Ken Riddett, Bruno’s longtime Chief Counsel in the Senate.
Both Riddett and Stackrow are key witnesses for the prosecution and defense, as they were two of the closest to Bruno during his time in office.