It's back to court for former New York State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno. After an appeals court rejected his double jeopardy claim, Bruno and his attorneys are preparing for a second federal trial. In 2009, the longtime powerful Rensselaer County Republican who eventually resigned his seat was convicted of two counts of mail fraud. The U.S. Supreme Court later tossed out part of the "theft of honest services" statute Bruno was charged under, and his conviction was overturned.
Federal prosecutors are moving the case back to the front burner in an attempt to re-try the 84-year-old. Bruno's age may be one thing in favor - WAMC's political observer Alan Chartock thinks it may be time to just let him go live out the rest of his life peacefully.
But is age enough to tip the scales? And is time on Bruno's side? Some have suggested Bruno's attorneys might ask for a change of venue due to Bruno’s notoriety. His last trial gripped downtown Albany for weeks. Tom Carr is an attorney with Tulley Rinckey. Carr doesn't see any reason or advantage to moving the trial.
Bruno attorney E. Stewart Jones explains expects he'll know what's next for the case by the middle of next week. Bruno faces up to 20 years on the charges. One thing is certain: Bruno's colorful life in the political spotlight may be gearing up for its final act.