Monday, December 21, 2009

Court ruling could let Bruno & Seminerio off the hook

From the Queens Chronicle:

This book was closed, some thought.

A series of convictions — culminating in the recent prosecutions of former state Sen. Joe Bruno and former Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio — had finally cast light on Albany’s legislative underworld. Its most egregious players had faced justice. And newfound federal scrutiny would surely deter those who would follow their unseemly path.

But a trio of cases before the U.S. Supreme Court could soon turn back the clock — setting the stage for pols like Bruno and Seminerio to escape the long prison terms that otherwise await them.

The court began hearing arguments against the government’s “honest services fraud” law last Tuesday. Enacted in 1988, the law criminalizes ethical lapses among public and private officials. Should the justices strike it down, thousands of white-collar offenders convicted under the statute, including Bruno and Seminerio, could be set free.

At question is whether the law adequately defines corruption by establishing a clear line between minor moral lapses and criminal activity. In the first of two hearings last week, the justices seemed to agree it did not.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Put the crooks in jail where they belong.

Taxpayer said...

Only judges, politicians and lawyers can be confused by the term "honest services".

Which of the two words is most confusing: honest, or service?

stinky said...

At question is whether the law adequately defines corruption by establishing a clear line between minor moral lapses and criminal activity. In the first of two hearings last week, the justices seemed to agree it did not.

Well; are you surprised? Who drafts the laws anyway? Keep the language loose and it can't be used against you!

Anonymous said...

One way to eliminate political corrution: term limits for full-time, well paid legislators. No outside interests, period.

Anonymous said...

This part-time status for all these legislators is just crap. Make them full-time positions with no special interests. If they work a full-time job, they won't have time for all their other little part-time jobs. Term limits for all!

Anonymous said...

Business as usual! All politicians circumvent the law. They are never punished, because the laws don't apply to them. They are special. Makes me wonder why more people don't go into politics. Oh, I forgot, you have to be rich and be in someone's pocket to do that.

Anonymous said...

No new news here---Money talks.
Mobsters ALWAYS dirt AND PROOF on the politicians packed away as there get out of jail card.

Seminerio should have called the feds pull the flush chain on the whole city. I guess he want to protect his family and played it safe.


Only in NYC and Afghanistan does the law permit a politician, judge or Cop to cut up a woman and walk.

Anonymous said...

They end their life in disgrace. Pathetic souls.
Throw them out with the trash.

Anonymous said...

It is a fuzzy law and damn the legislature for not making it clearer when passed. But guess what, majority are lawyers and want laws to be fuzzy-not clear. Why isn't Shelly brought up on that charge? Oops is he a lawyer and a democrat?