Bruno's Heads Up to Senators: Steer Clear of the Mailman

There was another of those rare moments of truth at yesterday's session of the Trials of Joe Bruno.

From the witness stand, former top state senate legal counsel Kenneth Riddett, was asked about an April 21, 2001 memo he prepared for the senate's then Republican majority members. Assistant U.S. attorney William Pericak pointed to a bold and underlined sentence in the memo directing senators that their annual financial disclosure statements detailing their sources of income and holdings "should be hand delivered not mailed." Why was that?

Riddett's answer was simple and direct: "There were, quite frankly, concerns with federal mail fraud statutes, to be honest with you."

In other words, while local prosecutors are likely never to bother to sort through the sworn statements for potential crimes, the feds are always a wild card. I.E., skip the mailman and take a short walk to the Legislative Ethics Office.

So there you have it: Your tax dollars at work. And one more reason why Bruno's now 11-day old trial has become the best Albany show since Legs Diamond held court at Jack's Oyster House (where Bruno also held down a table).

N.B. For those wanting more of this fare than the NYC dailies are currently delivering, the Albany Times-Union is providing the most complete trial coverage by any newspaper since the Lindbergh kidnapping trial, complete with trial exhibits (the paper fought and won to get access) and even transcripts. Image via Joshing Politics.


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