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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Joe Bruno's Honest Services Theft Conviction Reversed

Another defeat for the Department of Justice. The Second Circuit federal appellate court reversed the conviction of former longtime New York State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno for the deprivation of honest services.

The appellate court followed the Supreme Court's guidance (in United States v. Jeffrey Skilling) that the honest services statute only criminalized kickbacks and bribes, but not the conflicts of interest that characterized Bruno's conduct that was at issue in his trial.

However, the court found that Bruno could be retried on these charges on alternate theories of criminal liability.

(Eric Dixon is a New York lawyer who handles complex investigations, strategic analysis and political/election law matters.)


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