After being found not guilty of federal corruption charges, former state Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno is looking to have his legal fees – which he says total more than $4 million – reimbursed.
Bruno is calling on state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to compensate him for “what is legally due” and to “just obey the law.” He said he believes his legal fees are more than $4 million.
“The public officers law is very clear. I want what is legally due me,” Bruno said on the Capital District’s Talk 1300 radio show Monday morning. “I don’t want to fight about it. I am hoping they don’t make this partisan or political.”
On Friday Bruno was acquitted on felony charges that he accepted $360,000 in bribes nearly a decade ago from businessman Jared Abbruzzese. After serving as leader of the state Senate since 1994, he resigned in 2008 under FBI investigation.
According to Schneiderman’s office, the attorney general has not yet received a request for reimbursement from Bruno. Schneiderman’s office declined request for comment until a request is submitted and a decision is made.
“I hope Eric Schneiderman is fair and objective and not in any way political,” Bruno said. “I hope he knows what the law is. He can read the Public Officers Law like I can.”
The law relates to “reimbursement of defense costs incurred by or on behalf of state employees” and states that “it shall be the duty of the state to pay reasonable attorneys’ fees and litigation expenses incurred by or on behalf of an employee in his or her defense of a criminal proceeding in a state or federal court.”
Also during the radio show, Bruno said that he plans to stay in New York because his family lives here and he would like to be active in the community because his life was “put on hold six years ago.”
“There are so many good things I wanted to do in the last years of my life,” Bruno said. “I am a very young man at the age of 85. I want to be more active in the community, and I think I can be helpful.”
For more on Bruno's not guilty verdict, click here.