Jury convicts Bruno on 2 of 8 charges

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – A federal jury has convicted former New York Senate leader Joseph Bruno on two counts of corruption and acquitted him on five others.

The jurors also tell U.S. District Court Judge Gary Sharpe that they can’t come to a decision on an eighth count.

Bruno, once one of the state’s most powerful politicians, was accused of denying New Yorkers his honest services while enriching himself in the amount of $3.2 million by using his state influence.

The trial exposed Albany’s practice of influence-peddling by lawmakers. Bruno consulted for three businessmen and solicited union pension investments from labor unions on behalf of two companies.

Prosecutors argued that Bruno was required to publicly disclose his business interests and associates.

Sentencing is set for March 31st.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

Senate Majority Conference Spokesperson Austin Shafran said to NEWS10, “This is an unfortunate situation, which demonstrates the dire need for tougher ethics laws.  That is why our top priority for the beginning of the 2010 legislative Session is passing meaningful ethics reform.”

Joe Bruno spokesperson Kris Thompson sent NEWS10 a statement on the verdict that reads, “Joe Bruno is a fighter. This is round one. He’s been cleared of five of the eight charges and the jury could not reach a conclusion on another. Joe Bruno will fight for round two. And we believe at the end of this process he will be cleared of all charges. The Supreme Court is reviewing this very statute starting tomorrow. We are convinced that he has done nothing wrong and his name will be cleared at a later date.”

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