The jury in the corruption trial of former Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno has notified the judge that it has reached a consensus on two of the eight counts against the Rensselaer County Republican and is deadlocked on the other six, Jon Campbell of Gannett’s Albany Bureau reports from the federal courthouse in Albany.
In a note to U.S. District Court Judge Gary Sharpe shortly after 2 p.m. today, the jury said it’s not ready to give up and has asked for some help. This is the wording of the note:
“After careful consideration, we have come to a consensus on two counts. We cannot come to a decisionn on the other six counts. Could you please provide us with some guidance as to how we are to proceed. We are not ready to give up, but we could use some assistance.”
Sharpe had an issue with the use of the word “consensus,” because it doesn’t mean unanimous. He reminded jury members that the options on the charges are unanimous guilty, unanimous not guilty or hung. He requested a second note from the jury to clarify the situation.
Today is the jury’s third day of deliberations in the trial of Bruno, who is charged with eight counts of federal mail and wire fraud. Prosecutors allege he used his private consulting practice for personal gain, saying he received more than $3 million from individuals or groups in exchange for his political influence.
Bruno, 80, resigned his political office last year.