Bruno Convictions May Spur Ethics Reform in Albany

Daniel L. Squadron

December 09, 2009

By Karen DeWitt

Feature article on WNYC Radio

NEW YORK, NY December 09, 2009 —Albany may approve ethics reforms, now that former Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno has been convicted on federal corruption charges. Karen DeWitt reports from Albany.

REPORTER: Senator Dan Squadron, a Democrat who's sponsoring ethics reform legislation, says the conviction of the former senate leader for hiding tens of thousands of dollars in illegal gifts highlights a glaring loophole in state ethics laws that he calls the "Bruno gap."

SQUADRON: the fact that this happened in federal court, and not in an ethics commission and not in state court, is a sign that we need clearer and stronger state ethics laws.

REPORTER: Ethics reform bills stalled in the senate this fall. But Squadron says he's hopeful that the Bruno convictions will spur senators to take up the matter as soon as the session begins in January. In Albany, I'm Karen DeWitt.

HOST: Bruno has quit as chief executive of a private consulting firm. He plans to appeal his fraud conviction.