Today’s Supreme Court ruling is being interpreted as a victory for Joe Bruno, the former Senate Majority Leader who was convicted of violating the federal “honest services” law for not disclosing the fact he was getting hundreds of thousands of dollars as a private consultant.
“[T]his clearly puts the conviction of Joe Bruno in jeopardy,” said state Senator Eric Schneiderman, who introduced legislation to strengthen the state’s version of that law.
The ruling today narrowed the scope of when the “honest services” law can be applied and does not include cases of self-dealing and failing to disclose payments, as in Bruno’s case.
Bruno’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, said in a statement that the federal law was unconstitutional. “The Supreme Court has now agreed,” Lowell said. “We look forward to pressing our claim again with the Justice Department and with the judge who tried the case.”