STATEMENT OF JOSEPH L. BRUNO
Friday, January 23, 2009
For over three years, I have
been the target of a “Get Joe Bruno Campaign.” Whether by
former Governor Spitzer or a political U.S. Attorney’s Office and an
overzealous FBI, I have had every relationship of my life poked, probed and
scrutinized. Even my family was dragged into this and made to endure
questions about their actions and motives.
The former Governor’s aides,
even when they illegally used state police, could find nothing. And, when
the former U.S. Attorney told the FBI that there was no case against me, they
would not take “no” for an answer and even tried to get the U.S.
Attorney removed from the case.
So, after being hounded for three
years, I am being indicted on a prosecutorial sleight of hand because, after
years of effort, they cannot find one example of criminal activity or illegal
Many of you know my background
as a fighter, and I do not plan to change now. There is no doubt that a
jury of my peers will see this three year pursuit for what it is – an
expensive fishing expedition that had to show some results to justify the costs
and effort directed against me before members of the Grand Jury disbanded.
This is not
the first time we have seen deeply flawed, dysfunctional or even illegal behavior
by those with prosecutorial power. The former Governor abused his powers, and
those of the New York State Police, in an effort to drive me from public office.
The political prosecutors gave him and his people a pass but now have invented
a crime in order to get me.
The people of New York know that
in my 32 years of service, as a legislator and 14 years as Majority Leader
in the Senate, I fought their battles and never betrayed their trust. Now
I have to fight for myself, my family, my freedom and my reputation. And,
I ask the people of the State to give me the benefit of the doubt I hope I
have earned and the presumption of innocence all of us as citizens deserve.
a federal statute to come up with a new theory of wrongdoing, the so-called “honest
services charge,” this is no longer just about me. There is a frightening
message to all elected officials who are not wealthy and have work to make a
living. You too can become target practice with a statute that can infer, insinuate,
and imply because they can’t find the facts to make a criminal case.
I never thought a day like this
would happen in my life. There is nothing more searing than to stand before
a judge and hear yourself formally charged with breaching your personal and professional
code of conduct. Yet, I would tell you that even in the wake of this profoundly
unfair prosecution, my years in the Senate have all been worth it because of
the good I believe I have been able to accomplish for my district and my state.
After three years of cooperating
with every investigation, providing a mountain of documents, and wading through
repeated interviews, all the while watching prosecutors turn a blind eye to
the flagrant, unlawful abuse of gubernatorial powers, it’s time to get before
a court of law where facts, not a prosecutor’s invention of wrongdoing
will determine my future. Let’s get this case out from the cloak of secrecy,
out from the prosecutor operating behind closed doors, and in front of a jury
who will look this case in the eye and then determine that this is a three-year
fishing expedition that smells really, really bad.
Growing up in poverty, I had
to fight my whole life. As a kid I learned pretty quick that bullies love to
pick a fight. I learned to defend myself and went toe to toe when I thought
I was right. This is one of those times.
For more information contact:
Gary Lewi – 212-843-8010