Regarding Mr. Bruno
We have written in the past of our hope that Joe Bruno will be able to resolve his legal problems and move on with his life.
We don’t hate the man. We don’t wish him ill. We actually have some grudging admiration for him – his grit and audacity.
At the same time, find it outrageous that some people are claiming that a terrible injustice was done to Mr. Bruno.
Their complaint goes something like this: The law is unclear. Prosecutors were overzealous. The case was flawed. Bruno has done a lot of good for the community. His downfall was truly unfortunate. He is innocent.
Maybe, just maybe, there’s an argument to be made on the first five points, but not the sixth.
Innocent? No way.
Bruno misused his office. He traded on his position. He engaged in all manners of self-dealing. And he got rich doing so.
The Supreme Court’s finding that the “honest services” statute is flawed doesn’t change the fact that Bruno’s conduct was wrong, appallingly wrong.
Bruno may indeed see his conviction vacated, but that’s not exoneration. Nothing will change the fact that he was gaming the system for his own personal benefit.
And were it not for the Federal prosecutors whom some commentators are now disparaging, that conduct would still be going on. That’s because no state or local official was ever going to challenge what he was doing.
Yes, we hope Bruno is able to settle the matter and soon, but not in a way that allows him and others to pretend that he always acted honorably and never should have been prosecuted.