Joe Bruno, former state senate majority leader and close personal friend of Kirsten Gillibrand’s family, has been indicted on eight counts of corruption after a long FBI investigation. He is accused of soliciting business from unions and companies for vendors who later reimbursed him for his influence, in violation of a state law that criminalizes actions by elected officials that deprive citizens of their “right to honest services.”
The Albany Times-Union has interviewed a lawyer for union officials questioned in the investigation. Bruno “didn’t disclose his interest” in the recommendations he made to the officials, says the lawyer, “but he didn’t really push. He put in a word for them the same way you might recommend someone try a restaurant.”
Bruno has pleaded not guilty and will hold a press conference later.