The defense in Joe Bruno's trial takes full control of the case beginning Wednesday morning. Tuesday was a day of divided testimony. Most of the morning was devoted to Bruno's consulting agreements and Senate financial disclosures, while the afternoon focused on charges that Bruno tried to manipulate operations at New York's horse racing franchise. Geoff Redick was in the courtroom and has more.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Trial Day 7 started with Bruno's former Senate Ethics Lawyer, Frank Gluchowski on the stand, continuing testimony that he approved annual, Public Financial Disclosure forms for the Senator-forms that often left out important consulting income and relationships.
But Gluchowski testified that he was just following the rules. Under cross-examination, he was asked, "Why didn't you list specific clients Mr. Bruno was consulting for?"
He answered: "We put together the forms using the guidebook," an ethics publication from the state.
The prosecution still calls Bruno responsible for the omission. Examining Gluchowski, "Did Senator Bruno sign his own financial disclosure statements?"
Gluchowski said, "Yes, I believe so."
Then, there's the afternoon's testimony: a tangled web of appointments and resignations on New York's Racing Association board.
Back in 2005, NYRA was facing enormous deficits, and under federal indictment for corruption. Many wanted to see the publicly-run organization, turned private. And that may have included Joe Bruno, who was quoted back then saying NYRA should partner with private vendors. But in reality, the prosecution claims Bruno was trying to plant his own people on NYRA's board and speed along privatization so his friend could win a bid to run it.
Former NYRA chairman Stephen Duncker was asked, "Did anyone ever tell you that Senator Bruno wanted you to resign as chairman?"
Duncker said, "Yes."
The former president of NYRA, Charles Hayward also testified, "With Duncker out of the way, the Senator wanted a role for Tim Smith."
But Bruno's friend Smith, a known supporter of privatization according to prosecutors, never did take over and NYRA never lost the horse racing franchise.
One step ahead, that's where Joe Bruno and his defense team hope to stay in this case, their first witness was called out-of-order this afternoon due to travel arrangements.
The prosecution is expected to call its final witness Wednesday. The case then goes to the defense.