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Former NY Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno. Photo: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Joe_Bruno.JPG">UpstateNYer</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Former NY Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno. Photo: UpstateNYer, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Jury weighs charges for ex-NY Senate leader Joe Bruno

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) A federal jury is set to resume considering federal fraud charges against the ex-New York state Senate leader following two hours of deliberations late Thursday afternoon.

In closing statements, prosecutors and defense attorneys have accused each other of using half-truths and misrepresenting the testimony about retired Sen. Joe Bruno and his dealings with businessman Jared Abbruzzese.

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Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Coombe says Bruno did no actual work for consulting payments while directing state grants to one of Abbruzzese's companies.

Prosecutors accuse Bruno of accepting $360,000 in consulting fees plus $80,000 for a worthless racehorse while also advancing the businessman's interests in thoroughbred racing.

The Rensselaer County Republican led the Senate's majority for 14 years before stepping down in 2008.

Bruno says he did outside consulting work and denies wrongdoing.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

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