It is late in the afternoon in Albany (though I am typing this from Brooklyn) and ex-State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno has finally been sentenced for his crimes against the people of New York. Bruno was making jokes shortly before the sentencing, saying that he knows he did nothing wrong among other things. Unfortunately for the 81 year old boxer, two years in the slammer (in addition to a $280,000 fine) is no laughing matter.
From The Times-Union:
“I know that you don’t believe that you did anything wrong,” Sharpe told the Brunswick Republican, “which is why I didn’t hear one word of contrition here.”
Sharpe said that the federal government’s recommendation of eight years or more in prison would have been too harsh for an 81-year-old, but a sentence that involved no jail time would have sent the wrong message about the severity of Bruno’s offense.
Bruno and all those that received the benefits of having an alliance with a powerful corrupt politician proclaimed Joe's good name. However, independent observers and most importantly the presiding judge realized the seriousness of this matter. Eight years in federal prison is a long time for an octogenarian, but the jail time was meant to show the ex-Senator and all current and future politicians that there is a price to pay if you defraud the people you are elected to serve.
At the moment Bruno continues to proclaim his innocence and generosity for New Yorkers, hoping that the Supreme Court strikes down the law that he was convicted on. Whether or not that happens, the fact remains that he was a corrupt politician that used his office for personal gain to the detriment of our state.