NEW YORK, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- A federal appeals court has reversed the conviction of former New York State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno.
The court in New York City refused to bar federal prosecutors from bringing a new indictment and trying Bruno again, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported Thursday. The decision vacates the two-year sentence Bruno received after he was convicted in 2009 of taking money from a businessman.
The court's ruling was based on a U.S. Supreme Court decision that parts of the "theft of honest services" law are too vague to meet the standards of the U.S. Constitution. But the judges said prosecutors had produced "significant evidence" that Jared Abbruzzese paid Bruno $200,000 in consulting fees and bought a racehorse from him for far more than its value as bribes.
Bruno, a Republican, served in the state Senate from 1983 to 2008, representing an Albany-area district. He was majority leader from 1994 to 2008 and served briefly as acting lieutenant governor in his last months in office.