Items tagged with 'Joe Bruno'

Joe Bruno retrial verdict

joe bruno sentencing closeup cropThe jury in the Joe Bruno retrial found the former state Senate majority leader not guilty on the charges that a consulting arrangement involved kickbacks or bribes for his influence in state government. [TU CapCon]

In the 2009 trial he had been found guilty -- and sentenced to two years in prison -- of essentially the same accusations, but a 2010 ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States changed the criteria for the "theft of honest services" law he had been convicted under. Federal prosecutors decided to try prosecuting him again, which is what led to this retrial.

After today's verdict, the TU's Rob Gavin reported that Bruno went to Jack's (where else) to celebrate. [@RobertGavinTU]

Wider perspective: Jimmy Vielkind over at Capital, after the verdict: "State lawmakers, exhale: Joe Bruno, and the system as you know it, has been acquitted."

That photo on the right is a file photo, not from today.

Joe Bruno indicted. Again.

joe bruno sentencing closeup crop
Joe Bruno after his sentencing in 2010

A federal grand jury returned a new indictment against Joe Bruno today in which he's accused of defrauding the state and its citizens of "the right to his honest services" by taking what federal prosecutors say were bribes and kickbacks during his time in the state Senate.

This is the federal government's second go-around with Bruno. He was convicted in 2009 on two counts under the "theft of honest services law" and sentenced to two years in prison.

Bruno never served that time because it was delayed until the Supreme Court heard cases challenging that theft of honest services law. SCOTUS' majority opinion on the law described it as "unconstitutionally vague." That led to Bruno's conviction being vacated, and federal prosecutors winding up to take another swing.

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Where'd Joe go?

No Joe Bruno Bust Albany International Airport

It seems like something's missing...

Last week Bob over at Planet Albany noticed that the Joe Bruno bust that has watched over the observation area at the Albany International Airport was no longer on display.

Considering all the drama (if that's the word) surrounding Bruno over the last few years, the absence of the bust honoring him might make you wonder why it was missing.

So we asked.

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A peek at Client 9, the Eliot Spitzer documentary

Daniel emailed us this weekend after noticing that Client 9, the documentary about Eliot Spitzer is now available on demand on Time Warner Cable. (It debuts in theaters November 5.) He said he jumped at the chance to watch it.

He was also nice enough to send along a quick recap of the doc, focusing on the parts involving Albany. As he notes: "Some of this might be considered a spoiler about the movie, even though we all know how it ends." Right, the spitzering.

On to Daniel's quick overview...

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Will Supreme Court decisions let Bruno off the hook?

joe bruno sentencing closeup cropThe Supreme Court of the United State issued decisions today in three cases (1, 2, 3) involving the "theft of honest services" law -- the law used to convict Joe Bruno.

The Supremes were unanimous that the law is "unconstitutionally vague". Ruth Bader Ginsburg writes in the majority opinion of Skilling vs. US (as in Jeff Skilling, the Enron guy) that Congress intended the law to cover "schemes to defraud involving bribes and kickbacks," but it's too vague to say it covers anything beyond that. [NYT] [SCOTUS]

Federal prosecutors went after Bruno mainly for not disclosing conflicts of interest -- not for bribes or kickbacks. And the Supremes ruled that the law doesn't cover such conflicts of interest. So these rulings could help Bruno get off the hook. [TU] [SCOTUS Blog]

His lawyers are reportedly setting up a meeting with federal prosecutors to discuss the case. The judge in Joe Bruno's case has allowed the former state Senator to stay out of prison, pending the decisions in these SCOTUS cases. [NYT]

Earlier on AOA:
+ Speed reading the coverage of the Joe Bruno sentencing
+ Joe Bruno sentenced to two years
+ Should the "Joe" name go?
+ Speed reading the coverage of the Joe Bruno guilty verdict
+ Joe Bruno guilty on two counts
+ Retro Joe Bruno

Speed reading the coverage of the Joe Bruno sentencing

joe bruno sentencing closeup

He still may not end up going to prison.

A federal judge sentenced Joe Bruno to two years in prison on corruption charges yesterday.

Here are a bunch of the quick scan highlights from the coverage -- including bits about the "vintage" Bruno speech, the judge, the sentence and the reaction.

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Joe Bruno sentenced to two years

joe bruno post sentence

Joe Bruno talking with the media after the sentencing: "I'm proud of my public service."

The federal judge in the Joe Bruno case has sentenced the former state Senate majority leader to two years in prison -- and three years of post-release supervision. He's also been ordered to pay $280,000 in restitution.

He'll be allowed to stay out on bail until the Supreme Court of the United States rules on its theft of honest services cases. If SCOTUS rules against the theft of honest services laws, Bruno will go free.

During his statement in court before the sentence was announced, the TU reports Bruno said: "In my heart and in my mind, I did nothing wrong ... nothing!"

After the sentencing, he told the media outside the court house: "I'm proud of my public service and I don't believe I have anything to apologize for." He added that he's praying the Supreme Court will strike down the theft of honest services law. (State of Politics has posted a video clip of Bruno's comments.)

Federal prosecutors had been looking for an 8-year sentence. Bruno's attorney's were looking for no jail time and a fine. The two sides had agreed on the restitution.

WTEN reports that Bruno headed for Jack's after the sentencing and traffic came to a standstill at Broadway and State as he crossed the street.

You can follow tweets about the Bruno sentence through this search.

More post-sentencing photos after the jump.

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Eliot Spitzer can't stay out of the spotlight

It would appear that Eliot Spitzer is intent on being talked about.

In an interview posted this weekend by NYT, Spitzer said it's unclear whether Andrew Cuomo has the guts to take on tough political fights as governor. He also said he wasn't sure if he would vote for Cuomo.

Of course,there's some history here. Spitzer and Cuomo fought over the Joe Bruno investigation (Spitzer tells NYT Cuomo's approach was a "whitewash"). And Mario Cuomo reportedly said Spitzer wasn't qualified to be governor because he was "a bad man."

The book and the doc

Also stoking the coverage of Eliot Spitzer are Rough Justice, the book by Peter Elkind and the the untitled documentary by Oscar-winner Alex Gibney.

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Cuomo to investigate Paterson, Bruno sentencing pushed back, guily plea for mom accused of using daughter in burglaries, big snowfall totals in spots

Andrew Cuomo has reportedly agreed to David Paterson's request that the AG investigate Paterson aide David Johnson, the actions of the state police and the governor himself. Paterson announced last night that he had suspended Johnson after the New York Times posted an article in which it reported that a woman had sought an order of protection against Johnson -- and both the State Police and Paterson intervened in some way. [NY Post] [Paterson press release] [NYT]

Joe Bruno's attorney have reached an agreement with the feds on how much money the former state senator will have to forfeit as part of his sentencing. The figure hasn't been released, but it will probably be some portion of the $240k he was accused of receiving fraudulently. Bruno's sentencing has also been pushed to May 6. [TU] [Daily Gazette $] [Troy Record]

The state Senate passed the Family Health Care Decisions Act yesterday. The bill allows a surrogate to make decision on behalf of patient whom doctors have determined lacks decision-making capacity. The bill has already passed the Assembly -- and David Paterson reportedly will sign it. [NY Senate] [TU]

Albany County DA David Soares told the TU's editorial board yesterday that the Albany Police Department is "doing greater work in that department without the former chief there." At a community forum last night, residents suggested interview questions for the eight police chief candidates. [TU] [CapNews9]

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Rumors swirl about Paterson, Bruno bacon not delivered, clerk and robber crash through window, a Schenectady gift basket for Stephen Colbert

The big news at the state Capitol is... a NYT story about David Paterson... that hasn't been published yet... and no one seems to know when it will be. The story is rumored to include some sort of bombshell -- though that, too, is currently a mystery (Gawker commenters had some ideas). The governor reportedly met with Democratic party leaders over the weekend to discuss whether or not he will follow through on his vow to run for election this fall. And there are rumors about serious discontent within his administration. A spokesman for Paterson called all the recent rumors "a new low even by the standards of planet Albany." [TU] [Gawker] [AP/Post-Star] [NY Post] [CBS6]

Harold Ford accused Kirsten Gillibrand of using "underhanded tactics" in her attempt to gather early endorsements from county Democratic Party leaders around the state. Gillibrand is calling for Ford to disclose whether he got a bonus from Bank of America. [NYT] [NYO]

Much of the $75 million in state money promised by Joe Bruno just before he left office hasn't made it through. [TU]

The chairwoman of an inspector general's panel charged with tracking stimulus money says much of the federal funding distributed to New York State has yet to be spent. [TU]

The man accused of stabbing three people near the intersection of State and Henry Johnson following LarkFest last year was convicted on Friday on three counts of assault. He could get 25-50 years in prison. The victims said the man ran at them, shirtless, and yelled "I live for this, this is what I do!" during the attack. The man had been up for trial in 2008 for another alleged stabbing in Troy in 2007, but a judge tossed the case for procedural reasons. [CapNews9] [Troy Record] [CBS6] [Troy Record] [TU]

A Schenectady man died from carbon monoxide poisoning in his apartment after turning on his stove to keep warm because the apartment's thermostat was malfunctioning, keeping the heat down. [Daily Gazette $]

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Cold snap, New York rail funds request stops short, low number of home foreclosures, surgical robot unveiled

Today's weather forecast includes a steep temperature drop, the possibility of strong wind gusts and some snow. [NWS]

Chuck Schumer says New York State is in line to get $151 million from the $6 billion the feds have pledged for high speed rail. Part of that money will go toward constructing a second track at the bottleneck between Rensselaer and Schenectady. It will also pay for signal upgrades and engineering studies. New York State had been hoping to get billions, not of this money. [Post-Star] [Daily Gazette $] [CBS6] [TU]

The state Department of Taxation and Finance is looking to step up its tax collection enforcement efforts. [TU]

Friends and family of Joe Bruno have been writing letters urging the judge presiding over his case to go easy on his sentencing. [TU]

Schenectady's sewer maintenance supervisor was the city's highest-paid employee in 2009 -- mostly because of overtime. [TU]

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Chilly reaction to Paterson budget, shooting near school in Troy, mop protests at Bruno fundraiser, prof accused of growing pot

David Paterson's proposed budget doesn't seem to have gone over well with state legislators, some of whom are already vowing to make significant changes the proposed cuts in education and health care spending. Local elected officials also seemed cool to the budget plan. School district officials also weren't happy. Andrew Cuomo: good start, let's see it actually happen. And the conservative-leaning Empire Center said Paterson's budget didn't cut enough. One person who did seem enthusiastic: SUNY chancellor Nancy Zimpher (the Paterson plan would give SUNY more control over its tuition rates). [NYT] [TU] [Troy Record] [Saratogian] [Daily Politics] [Post-Star] [CapNews9]

The state legislature didn't vote yesterday on a plan to lift the cap on the number of charter schools in the state. The legislature had been bouncing the plan around because of a deadline yesterday afternoon to file for federal education money. [TU] [NYT]

Troy police say a man was shot in the back yesterday afternoon in North Central, just a block from a school. (map). A witness said he saw two men run from the scene and drive off. [TU] [CapNews9] [Troy Record]

The woman who was driving over the Dunn Memorial Bridge in 2005 when a section dropped two feet has settled with the state Department of Transportation for more than $100k, according to her attorney. The lawyer says her client has suffered from PTSD because of the experience. [TU] [Fox23]

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Paterson to propose budget today, questions about APD chief salary, protest planned for Bruno fundraiser, the "conscious" candy machine

David Paterson is scheduled to release his 2010-2011 budget proposal today.

Last night's special session of the legislature didn't include action on the proposal to increase the state's cap on the number of charter schools (though senators did find time to squabble over parliamentary procedure). The state has until 4:30 today to file its application for $700 million in federal funding -- and removal of the charter school cap is seen as a key part of that application. [AP/Post-Star] [TU] [Fox23] [TU]

Jerry Jennings is hoping to a close a gap in the next Albany budget by getting the state to advance almost $40 million in PILOT money for the ESP. [TU]

As Albany searches for a new police chief, the question has come up: does the job pay enough? [TU]

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Delmar house burns to ground after explosions, DA says city worker chased down alleged mugger, gun buyback out of money, mansion a bargain?

An explosion badly burned a teenager in Delmar and burned his house to the ground on Saturday (map). Firefighters say they heard two explosions after arriving at the scene. Neighbors say they could feel the explosions. Bethlehem police say they're investigating the possibility that rocket fuel was involved in the explosion. The teen was taken to a burn unit in Westchester County -- an EMT says the teen lost a hand in the explosion. A web site has been set up to help organize aid for the family. [TU] [Fox23] [Troy Record] [WNYT] [TU] [CapNews9] [CBS6]

David Paterson says New York would be "punished" under the health care reform bill moving through Congress. [Daily Politics]

The jurors in the Joe Bruno trial say the experience convinced them that the state needs stronger ethics laws. [TU]

Saratoga Springs' outgoing public safety commissioner is calling for the city attorney to resign after the attorney allegedly threw a folder full of resignation notices at the head of the public works commissioner. [TU] [Daily Gazette $]

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Investigation finds fraud at state forensics lab, Paterson talking about layoffs again, homeless shelters jammed, another bank robbery attempt

A investigation by the state inspector general concludes that Gary Veeder, a former state police forensic scientist, "routinely" failed to conduct a required test on fiber evidence and then lied about performing the test in case records. Twenty-six of the cases were from the Capital Region. State police say it does not appear the fraudulent testing affected any convictions. The IG's report also concludes that Veeder was able to get away with the fraudulent work for years because "laboratory staff's technical, or peer, reviews of Veeder's fiber examinations were substandard, overlooking obvious indications that Veeder had omitted the required fiber test." State police say they're bringing in an outside consultant to address the problem. Veeder is now dead -- he committed suicide at his home in Vorheesville last year. [NYS IG] [Fox23] [WNYT] [NYT] [TU]

The Saratoga County sheriff's deputy accused of forcing an acquaintance to perform a sex act on him while he was on duty has been indicted on 11 new charges. Saratoga County DA James Murphy says three more women have stepped forward to accuse the deputy of similar crimes. [TU] [Saratogian]

Federal prosecutors are predicting jail time for Joe Bruno. [NYDN]

David Paterson says state worker layoffs will be back on the table if state revenues continue to drop. [NYP]

Steven Raucci will stay in jail after a state appeals court affirmed a lower court's decision to deny him bail. The TU and the Daily Gazette are now suing the Schenectady school district for access to its investigation of Raucci. The district has already released a version of the report -- but it was heavily redacted. [Daily Gazette $] [TU] [Daily Gazette $] [TU]

State DEC scientists report that bat populations are down 90 percent in caves where they're studying "white nose syndrome." "We don't have a lot of years to figure this out," says a DEC scientist. [NYS DEC] [TU]

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Should the "Joe" name go?


Does "The Joe" need a new name?

Now that Joe Bruno has been convicted on two felony charges, what about the all the stuff that's named after him?

There is, of course, Joseph L. Bruno Stadium at HVCC. The theater at the Arts Center of the Capital Region is named after him. There's a park in Hoosick Falls that bears his name. And there's that bust of him on display at ALB. There are almost certainly others -- Bruno dropped a lot of pork in the Capital Region.

Other cities and institutions have recently re-tagged buildings named for people/orgs who have been convicted or otherwise disgraced:

+ The Houston Astros bought back the naming rights to their own stadium after the Enron meltdown (the energy company had actually kept up its naming payments through the whole thing).

+ New York City renamed a jail that bore the name of Bernie Kerik, the former police commissioner who pleaded guilty to felony corruption charges.

+ And Seton Hall University changed the name on a building that honored disgraced Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski (the $15k umbrella stand guy).

Update Wednesday morning: The Daily Gazette reports that HVCC will be keeping the name on Joseph Bruno Stadium. And NYT reports that an ALB spokesman says the Bruno bust isn't going anywhere.

Speed reading the coverage of the Joe Bruno guilty verdict

joe_bruno.jpgWe've sifted through the coverage of Joe Bruno's conviction on federal corruption charges.

Here are a bunch of the quick-scan highlights...

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Joe Bruno convicted, state managers upset they're not getting a raise, another bank robbery, cash for clunker appliances, crackdown on deer jacking

A federal jury convicted Joe Bruno on two felony counts of mail fraud. (here's a breakdown of the counts). "It was very hard to convict him when he's done so much for the area," said the juryforewoman to the TU. As he exited the courthouse, Bruno said to reporters: "It's not over till it's over and I think it's far from over." It sounds like Bruno is already planning an appeal. He faces up to 40 years in jail and $500k in fines -- though the judge has broad sentencing discretion. [TU] [Troy Record] [TU] [Troy Record] [Buffalo News] [NYT]

The Albany County legislature has approved a budget that includes a 5.9 percent tax increase* -- and keeps 100 jobs that were slated to be cut. (*The Record says the legislature approved a budget with a 5.4 percent tax increase, as opposed to county exec Mike Breslin's proposed 5.9 percent.) [TU] [CapNews9] [Troy Record]

Schenectady police say a man was shot on Hamburg street early this morning (map). [TU]

State management and confidential employees are upset that they're not getting raises -- even though the unionized people they supervise are. [TU]

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Joe Bruno guilty on two counts

joe_bruno.jpgThe jury in the Joe Bruno case has found him guilty on two counts, not guilty on five and they're stuck on one of the counts. [@WNYT]

Here's a list of the counts. [CBS6]

The jury found Bruno guilty on counts 4 and 8 in the indictment (here's the TU's plain English description of the counts).

Those counts both involve Loudonville businessman Jared Abbruzzese:

  • Count 4 alleged that Bruno, as "part of the scheme and artifice to defraud" the public of his honest services, took $200,000 from two Abbruzzese companies for "consulting." (indictment page 23)
  • Count 8 alleged that Bruno, through his Mountain View Farm, sold a virtually worthless horse to Abbruzzese for $80,000 -- prosecutors argued the sale was compensation for a canceled consulting contract between Bruno and an another telecommunications company with which Abbruzzese was involved. (indictment page 24)

Abbruzzese testified during the trial -- under an immunity agreement -- that he had brought in Bruno for the state senator's contacts and "aura." He admitted to buying the horse from Bruno in order to settle a "moral obligation" regarding the canceled consulting contract. (He also said that Bruno introduced him to Donald Trump.) [TU] [Troy Record] [NYDN]

Each count carries a maximum 20 year sentence and fines up to $250k. Sentencing is scheduled for March 31. [DOJ/TPM] [@timesunion]

NYDN reports that Bruno left the federal courthouse in downtown Albany "looking pale and shaken" -- and told reporters "I think it's far from over." [NYDN]

Still no verdict in Bruno trial, new Saratoga police chief named, man allegedly walks out of jewelry store with $29k necklace, light rail for Saratoga?

Joe Bruno Trial: still no verdict. Jurors will be back for a seventh day of deliberations today. [TU] [CapNews9]

Christopher Cole will be Saratoga Springs' next police chief. He's a 20-year veteran of the force and the son of a Saratoga cop. Incoming public safety commissioner Richard Wirth, who had protested a chief being picked before the start of his term, appeared to be happy with the selection. Ed Moore, the current chief, announced his retirement in order to save the department money -- and perhaps layoffs -- though it's unclear how much money will actually be saved. [Daily Gazette $] [TU] [Saratogian] [Post-Star]

RPI celebrated the the ten year tenure of president Shirley Ann Jackson this past weekend. In a speech Saturday, Jackson said the school had become "re-enrgerized, reinvigorated and refocused." And Aretha Franklin's performance at EMPAC Friday night was fantastic, apparently. [WNYT] [Troy Record] [Troy Record]

Rivers Cuomo -- of Weezer fame -- was apparently hurt when his tour bus rolled over on the Thruway near Amsterdam Sunday. The TU seems have gotten some indication that Cuomo was eventually taken to Albany Med. The bus apparently skidded after hitting some ice. [Fox23] [TU] [CapNews9]

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State Senate votes down same-sex marriage bill, Bruno trial still deliberating, alleged elderly safe robber arrested, Albany school district considers mid-year job cuts

The state Senate voted down the same-sex marriage bill 38-24. Supporters of the bill apparently thought the vote would be closer. Eight Democrats joined every Republican in the chamber in voting "no." Here's a listing of how each senator voted. [TU] [NYT] [NYDN] [CapCon]

The state Senate passed the $2.7 billion deficit reduction bill. David Paterson criticized the legislature's cuts for falling "well short" of what's actually necessary to cover the budget gap. The Senate also passed bills that reform the state's public authorities (such as the Thruway Authority) and change the pension rules for new state employees. [TU] [Daily Politics] [NYT] [NYT]

Joe Bruno Trial: the jury is still deliberating. The jury asked to have testimony read back yesterday from Jared Abbruzzese, the Loudonville businessman who bought an overvalued horse from Bruno apparently to make up for a canceled consulting contract. Oh, no: the trial seems to be affecting Uncle Joe's perma-tan (if not his loquaciousness). [TU] [Troy Record] [NYT]

After the Saratoga Springs' police and fire chiefs announced their retirements this week, Ron Kim -- the outgoing Saratoga Springs public safety commissioner -- says he's moving to hire their replacements. That's not going over well with Richard Wirth, who become public safety commissioner on January 1. [TU] [Saratogian]

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Retro Joe Bruno

As part of its "Retro 6" web series, CBS6 has posted film from the beginning of Joe Bruno's political career. Uncle Joe appears a little less bold -- and a lot less gray.

Movement on state budget gap, Bruno trial jurors say they're stuck, Saratoga chiefs retiring, still no public release of plan for Harriman, police say guard was tied up during safe robbery

The state Assembly passed a deficit reduction bill during the middle of the night -- the bill falls short of making all the necessary cuts, though. The state Senate is scheduled to vote on a budget gap bill today. [NYO] [Daily Politics] [TU]

The Assembly also passed the same-sex marriage bill again. Who knows if the Senate will vote on the bill. [NYDN] [NYO]

Joe Bruno Trial: The jury said yesterday that it had reached a verdict on two counts (which ones and what verdict unknown) -- but was stuck on the six other counts. Judge Gary Sharpe then basically told them to keep trying. The Bruno camp appeared to be heartened by the development. [Troy Record] [NYT] [TU]

Saratoga Springs' police and fire chiefs announced yesterday that they're retiring. The chiefs say they hope their retirements will helps save the jobs of younger members of their departments slated for layoffs. Both chiefs make about $100k. [TU] [Saratogian] [Post-Star]

The SUNY central office says it will not be investigating allegations that SUNY Cobleskill allowed unqualified students into the school just so it could get their tuition money. The allegations are part of a suit filed by a former dean, who alleges that the school discriminated against African-American students from NYC by lowering its admission standards in order to balance its budget. [TU] [CapNews9]

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Porco appeal focuses on nod, state budget gap deal could be close, job cuts at Skidmore, police say 11-year-old called 911 on alleged robbers, CDTA bus bursts into flames

The judges hearing Christopher Porco's appeal in a Brooklyn state appellate court yesterday focused on the admissibility of the nod that detectives say Joan Porco made indicating Christopher was responsible for the attack. Joan Porco says she has no memory of the crime -- and the defense argued that prevented Christopher from being able to confront his accuser. The prosecution argued that the defense just missed its chance to have Joan Porco testify that she didn't remember. Christopher Porco is currently serving 50 years in state prison for the murder of his father and attempted murder of his mother. [TU] [Fox23] [CapNews9] [Troy Record]

A deal to close the state budget gap could be near. Or not. Members of the legislature indicated last night that they had put together a plan to cut $2.8 billion (from the $3+ billion gap), which borrows almost $400 million federal education aid from next year for this year's budget. David Paterson said that wasn't good enough -- and announced that he would move to withhold payments to local governments in order to keep the state solvent. [TU] [NYDN] [Daily Politics] [NYT]

Joe Bruno Trial: still no verdict. The jury heard read backs of testimony from two witnesses yesterday, which could be helpful to Bruno. [TU] [Troy Record] [NYT]

Skidmore says it could eliminate as many as 70 jobs as it tries to cover a $12.6 million gap in next year's budget (about 8 percent). [TU] [Post-Star] [Saratogian]

The board overseeing redevelopment of the Harriman State Office Campus announced yesterday that Columbia Development has been picked to develop the site. Officials with Columbia have close ties to Jerry Jennings, which prompted a competing developer to accuse the board of making a politically motivated choice. [CapNews9] [TU]

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Paterson proposes unilateral authority cut budget, Troy residents irked by parking ticket sweep, reward grows for info about duct-taped dog

David Paterson introduced his own deficit reduction bill yesterday -- and said during a webcast that if the legislature wouldn't make cuts, they should give him the temporary authority to do it unilaterally. That second proposal didn't go over well with the legislature. One assemblyman said, "What's next, martial law?" And others, including Neil Breslin, questioned the constitutionality of the arrangement (though apparently some think it might fly). Ron Canestrari praised Paterson's attempt to move the budget ball. Paterson's speech did appear to make some progress -- in further uniting the state Senate against him. The legislature won't be back in session until next week. [NYO] [Daily Politics] [NYDN] [NYT] [Daily Politics] [NYO] [TU] [AP/Troy Record] [Daily Politics] [Fox23]

Joe Bruno Trial: day one of jury deliberations passed without a verdict. The jury will take a break for Thanksgiving and resume deliberations next Monday. [TU] [Troy Record]

One thing that was apparent from testimony in the Bruno trial: his second office was the golf course. [NYT]

Colonie police say a man died this morning when the pickup truck in which he was sitting exploded (map). [TU]

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Legislature back for another try at budget fix, demand up at food banks, local venture capitalists criticized for not taking enough risks, the weekend in crime

The state legislature is scheduled to be back in town today for another special budget session. David Paterson continued to sound the alarm about the budget gap, warning of "furloughs, layoffs, borrowing, downgraded credit ratings" and a range of delayed payments (including to state workers). He also has continued to blame the legislature -- especially the state Senate -- being in "denial" about the problem. It seems the legislature's not a huge fan of him, either. [CapNews9] [Daily Politics] [NYDN] [NY Post]

Summations in the Joe Bruno trial are expected to start today. On Friday, Jared Abbruzzese, a longtime Bruno friend and business associate, testified that he had hired Bruno has a consultant for the senator's contacts and "aura." He said the $80k he paid Bruno for a horse was payment to settle a "a moral obligation" for canceled consulting contracts. And Abbruzzese also said Bruno introduced him to Donald Trump, who -- in Abbruzzese's words -- "walked over me." Even though Abbruzzese was the prosecution's last witness, he may have been most helpful to the defense. It was also announced on Friday that Bruno will not be testifying in his own defense. [TU] [TU] [Fox23] [NYDN] [NYT] [TU] [Troy Record]

Kirsten Gillibrand has been calling state senators in an effort to get "yes" votes for the same-sex marriage bill. [Daily Politics]

Food banks and pantries report that demand for help is up this year, especially among people with jobs. [Troy Record] [TU]

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Legislature goes home with no budget deal, state worker buyout extended, all sorts of rumors about Rudy, student accused of lighting firecrackers in school cafeteria

The state legislature has gone home -- and there's no deal to fix the budget gap. David Paterson said he and the state Senate are still stuck on proposed cuts for health care and education funding. Some senators are floating a plan that would "spin up" money for this year's budget, which is apparently just another way of saying borrowing from next year's budget. It looks like the legislature will be back on Monday. [NYO] [TU] [Daily Politics] [Susan Arbetter] [NYO]

The Paterson Administration is extending the $20,000 state worker buyout. [TU]

Joe Bruno Trial: A Senate aide testified yesterday that Bruno allocated "member items" (you know, pork) to other senators based on political considerations (this was apparently something akin to actually acknowledging the elephant in the room). NYT has strung together bits of info from the trial that it argues provide "vivid and sometimes captivating detail how easily official duties and private business can overlap for lawmakers in Albany." [TU] [NYT]

One side effect of the Bruno trial: the Senate is apparently now short on computers. [NYO]

The Albany Convention Center Authority released plans and renderings for the facility this morning. [TU]

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Movement at the Capitol, executives said they didn't know why they were paying Bruno, woman charged for not getting treatment for her dog, school district denies Whalen's appeal

There was movement on legislation at the Capitol yesterday -- just not on the deficit reduction plan. The Assembly passed -- and the Senate apparently is about to -- a bill that reforms the hundreds of quasi-independent state authorities (such as the Thruway Authority). Richard Brodsky, the assemblyman behind the bill, says the authorities have been "rogue institutions" that resembled "Soviet-style bureaucracies" and called the the bill "the most fundamental reform of Albany in decades." [TU] [NYT] [NYO] [NYDN]

And in a display that the Capitol can move quickly, the Senate passed and David Paterson signed a bill called "Leandra's Law" yesterday (the Assembly passed it on Tuesday) that makes it a felony drive drunk with a child in the car. The law also requires that anyone convicted of DWI to have an interlock device installed in their car. The new rules have been described as the toughest DWI law in the country. [NYT] [CNN] [CapNews9] [Wikipedia] [CBS News]

Not present for the last two days of the special session: Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr, who says he's been in the Bronx distributing turkeys. [NYO]

Joe Bruno Trial Day 12: Prosecutors focused on hundreds of thousands of dollars in consulting fees that a series of telecommunications companies paid Bruno -- even though executives for those companies apparently didn't know why they were paying the senator. It also came to light that Bruno helped steer $500k in state grants to a Troy firm connected to two longtime friends/associates, one of whom apparently had a deal with the company to get paid stock in return for helping to score the money (he says Bruno's consulting wasn't connected to the money). A former attorney for the state Senate also testified that he had a "CYA" file to keep notes of his dealings with Bruno regarding ethics issues. And Judge Gary Sharpe scold of the day: "Let the record show the witness made a disgusted glance." [NYT] [NYDN] [TU] [Troy Record] [TU] [Fox23]

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Bruno trial focuses on disclosure forms, progress -- or not -- on state budget gap, contractor dies on dredging project, the crow wars continue

Joe Bruno Trial: Much of the testimony yesterday focused on how Bruno's financial disclosure forms had been compiled. Ken Riddett, the former counsel to the Senate majority, testified that state senators were instructed to hand deliver their financial disclosure forms because of "concerns with federal mail fraud statutes." Also: Bruno's former executive assistant continued her testimony yesterday. She recounted the time Bruno sent her to the bank to get a $1000 bill for his wife -- and she says Bruno got "very angry" with her when she returned with ten $100 bills instead. [NYT] [TU] [Troy Record]

What's the state of discussions on how to close the state's budget gap? It depends on whom you ask -- though count David Paterson as one who's not optimistic, calling the situation a "prelude to what will be continued unhappiness." The governor also said he wouldn't rule out state worker furloughs if a deficit deal doesn't come about. [Daily Politics] [TU] [NYO] [NYDN]

Amy Seyboth Tirador, the Colonie soldier who recently died in Iraq, was buried in Saratoga National Cemetery yesterday. About 300 people attended her funeral in Colonie. Military officials in Iraq told the TU via email yesterday that "we do not know if her death was accidental, a suicide or a homicide." Seyboth Tirador's family has said the soldier was shot in the back of the head. During the funeral yesterday her grandfather said, "Whoever did this crime, I hope they rot in hell." [WTEN] [Troy Record] [TU] [WNYT]

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Bruno speaks out about case, dog found duct-taped and bagged, another student mugging in Pine Hills, Albany High production prompted by protests

Joe Bruno called into Talk 1300 yesterday to complain about the federal case against him. During the segment, Bruno said of the federal investigation of him: "I wasn't a terrorist.... I never abused the public trust that people put in me. I never, never used politics to make money. I just didn't do that." Bruno's comments may not go over well with the judge presiding of his case, who has warned both sides in the trial about speaking outside of court -- and just the day before said scolded them in court: "This is not an election campaign." [NYDN] [TU] [TU] [NYT]

About Gary Sharpe, the judge in the Bruno trial: An op-ed in the Troy Record this past weekend questioned whether the judge had a conflict of interest because his son works as a prosecutor in the Albany US Attorney's office -- the same office that's prosecuting Bruno. The head of that office told the NYDN yesterday that Sharpe's son has had no involvement with the case. [Troy Record] [NYDN]

David Paterson said he will pull the $25 fee for the new "EmpireGold" license plates -- if someone can come up with a way to replace the $129 million the fee is projected to contribute to the state budget. [NY Post]

The Paterson Administration projects that increases in the fee that retailers pay to be sellers of tobacco products will reduce the number of tobacco retail outlets by 40 percent. [TU]

A group of hunters in Saratoga County say they found a dog wrapped in duct tape and stuffed in a garbage bag. [WNYT]

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Extraordinary legislative session very ordinary, Army still investigating Colonie soldier's death, judge blocks Fort Orange Club demolition, prisoners to make new license plates

Today is Veterans Day.

Yesterday's "extraordinary" session of the state legislature produced rather ordinary results -- there was no agreement on cuts to close the state budget gap and no Senate vote on the same-sex marriage bill. Late yesterday afternoon David Paterson said he will call the legislature back next Monday and Tuesday. He also said the Senate would vote on same-sex marriage "at a date not certain between now and the end of the year." [TU] [NYT] [Daily Politics] [NYO]

Joe Bruno trial Day Seven: the business manager of a Saratoga County plumbers union testified that Bruno recommended Wright Investment Services -- and didn't mention that he was a consultant for the firm. The union also got two state grants, perhaps at Bruno's discretion, around the time it invested $4 million with Wright -- and the timing of those came up yesterday during testimony by state Senator Betty Little. After one of Bruno's attorneys tried to introduce five years of member items as evidence, Judge Gary Sharpe scolded both sides. "This trial has lost its way for a long time. This is not an election campaign," he said. [Troy Record] [TU] [Fox23] [NYT]

The Army says "the facts and circumstances" surrounding the death of Colonie soldier Amy Seyboth Tirador in Iraq are "still under investigation." The military has called Seyboth Tirador's death "non-combat-related" -- her family has been telling the media that she was shot in the back of the head on a base in Kirkush. [TU]

The condition of 12 bridges in the Capital Region -- and 110 upstate bridges in total -- scored lower on state inspections than the now-closed Champlain Bridge, according to an analysis by a group of upstate legislators. There was a rally outside the Capitol yesterday calling for more state funding for upstate bridge maintenance. [TU] [Fox23]

The Troy city council has proposed budgets cuts it says will hold next year's tax increase to 2.2 percent. The slate of cuts includes the elimination of a handful of city jobs, including the commissioner of public works and the mayor's spokesperson. [TU] [Troy Record]

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Bruno trial Day 3, shouting over post office closures, seasonal flu still on the way, "water celery" snags development plans, school lunches go local

Joe Bruno trial Day 3: a former official with a Connecticut investment firm testified called Bruno an "introducer" and said the senator brought $140 million worth of investments to the firm. And an attorney for the investment group, testifying with an immunity deal, said Bruno relationship with the firm wasn't vetted by the ethics committee because it was "commonplace." Yesterday also included testimony by NY Daily News columnist Bill Hammond and SPAC president Marcia White, who was once Bruno's spokesperson. [TU] [CapNews9] [Fox23]

Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday that his office has filed an anti-trust suit against Intel for allegedly abusing its monopoly power to keep AMD down. Any penalties assessed against Intel could help AMD, which is the biggest customer of GlobalFoundries -- Cuomo says the GloFo chip fab project in Malta had nothing to do with the suit, though. [NYO][NYT][TU]

The man accused of being the shooter in Troy's Second Street homicide was released on his own recognizance yesterday after the Rensselaer County DA's office wasn't ready for a preliminary hearing. [TU]

More than a hundred people showed up for the public info session about the potential closures of the Pine Hills and Delaware Ave post offices. The crowd included Jerry Jennings, and Common Council members Shawn Morris and Cathy Fahey. The exchanges between the crowd and USPS officials apparently got a bit heated at times. [TU] [CapNews9] [Fox23]

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First witnesses in Bruno trial, doctors flooded with requests for flu shot, public info meetings on post office closures, Thriller dance cancelled for lack of space

Here's a rundown of notable election results from yesterday. In some of the highest profile races: Jerry Jennings cruised to victory in the Albany mayoral election, Paula Mahan beat Mike Hoblock for Colonie supervisor, Republicans swept the contested seats on the Saratoga Springs city council, Republicans Bob Mirch and Neil Kelleher were both bounced from the Rensselaer County legislature. [AOA] [TU] [TU] [Saratogian] [Troy Record]

The new optical scan voting machines seemed to work out OK yesterday. [TU]

The first witnesses in the Joe Bruno trial took the stand yesterday. The head of an Albany investment firm testified that his consulting payments to Bruno increased after the senator became majority leader -- and that Bruno was responsible for bringing in $400,000 in revenue from labor unions. A former Bruno staff attorney testified that he "was not involved" in Bruno's business ventures, but did say he provided legal advice about agreements between Bruno and clients. [CapNews9] [Fox23] [TU]

Local doctors' offices say they've been deluged with patients calling for the H1N1 vaccine. [TU]

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Opening statements in Bruno trial, Aretha Franklin coming to RPI, investigation into Paterson World Series tickets, cops say man was wearing a Breathalyzer costume, naked sprint around the Nott

A jury was selected for Joe Bruno's federal trial yesterday. Each side also delivered its opening statement. The prosecution said Bruno used his influence at the capitol to rake in more than $3 million from clients. Bruno's defense said he's "a hardworking, honest public servant" and the feds had made a mistake. As he entered the courthouse yesterday, Bruno told reporter he had been "looking forward to this day." [CapNews9] [NYT] [Troy Record] [TU] [NYSNYS via Daily Politics]

GlobalFoundries has announced that Hector Ruiz is stepping down as chairman of the board. The WSJ reported in October that the feds had identified Ruiz as the AMD executive who leaked news of the impending formation of GlobalFoundries to a hedge fund last year. The new chairman will be Alan Ross, who had been the CEO of another semi-conductor company. GloFo says Ruiz's exit will have no effect on plans for the Luther Forest chip fab. [NYT] [San Jose Mercury News] [TU] [Saratogian]

The Albany County Department of Health reported its first death associated with the H1N1 flu. The ACDoH says the teen had a "longstanding underlying medical condition." The county health commissioner said the news was not cause for alarm and "the vast majority of individuals" will recover. [TU] [WTEN] [Troy Record] [CapNews9]

The Albany County Department of Health says the death of a county resident has been associated with the contaminated ground beef that was recently recalled. The beef was produced by a company in western New York and distributed throughout the East Coast. Locally, the beef had been available at Price Chopper, which has been contacting people to notify them of the recall. [Fox23] [NYT] [TU] [@ChrisRooney]

Aretha Franklin and Joshua Bell will performing at EMPAC in December as part of a celebration of Shirley Ann Jackson's 10 years at RPI (or, as @supraphonic @timesunion called it yesterday; Shirleystock). The performances will not be open to the general public. (Earlier on AOA: RPI's Jackson tops compensation chart) [RPInsider] [TU] [AP/CBS6]

(there's more)

Bruno trial starts today, homicide in Albany, speculation about connections between deaths in Greenfield, toddler found because of lights on his shoes

Joe Bruno's federal trial starts today. The feds are prosecuting him under a "theft of honest services" statute -- the feds allege that Bruno made more than $3 million in consulting fees from groups who benefited from his influence in state government. The case is expected to shine a light on the many of the gaps in New York State's ethics laws. Apparently some people are saying the case is almost like putting the entire culture of the capitol on trial. Bruno has already spent more than $600k on his defense. [TU] [AP/Saratogian] [TU] [NYT] [AP/Troy Record]

Albany police say a man was killed on Saturday in an Eagle Street apartment just down the block from the Governor's Mansion (map). The APD says there are no suspects, yet. [Fox23] [TU]

Troy police say a man has been arrested and charged for the murder on Second Street two weeks ago. They didn't release info about a motive. Police say information from people in the neighborhood helped lead them to the suspect. [TU] [Troy Record] [WNYT]

The Schenectady city council approved a budget that does not include a tax increase. The originally-proposed budget had included an almost six percent increase. [TU][TU]

New York State's texting-while-driving ban took effect yesterday. [Fox23]

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Paterson order state agencies to cut back, proposed Saratoga budget includes paid parking, natural gas prices down, teachers say they were secretly videotaped

David Paterson has ordered state agencies to cut their non-personnel expenses (travel, equipment, office supplies) by about 11 percent -- a move that his administration says will save the state $500 million. Paterson has been projecting that the state will face a $3 billion budget gap this year. He's been criticized for not setting an overarching lists of cuts -- but the governor says he's letting the legislature "participate in formulating that menu." [NYS DoB] [NYT] [AP/Troy Record] [TU]

The witness lists for both the prosecution and defense in the Joe Bruno trial include more than 100 names (with a lot of overlap). The lists include current state senators, current and former state officials, legislative staffers and two journalists. [Troy Record] [TU] [NYT]

The budget proposed by Saratoga Springs' finance commissioner includes a 7.8 percent tax increase, 50 job cuts and a plan for paid parking on city streets and lots. [Saratoga Springs] [Fox23] [TU] [Saratogian]

The first batch of H1N1 vaccine arrived in the Capital Region yesterday. Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady counties have all received limited quantities (in the hundreds of doses). Albany Med received 1000 doses. The focus on flu this year has apparently prompted a lot of interest in flu shots -- and local doctors' offices report that they they're having trouble getting shipments of the regular seasonal flu vaccine. [Daily Gazette $] [Fox23] [Saratogian] [Schenectady County] [CapNews9] [WTEN] [WNYT]

(there's more)

Finger pointed at "chief finger pointer," Luther Forest reportedly beat out Brazil and China, Schumer and Gillibrand hedge on Paterson, microloans in Watervliet

chester arthur birthday

A ceremony commemorating the 180th birthday of President Chester A. Arthur yesterday at his grave in the Albany Rural Cemetery. (Photo: Matt Ryan)

Democrats in Rensselaer County have hit back at allegations of absentee ballot fraud by accusing Republicans of similar electoral wrongdoing. The Dems are focusing their attention of Republican Bob Mirch, who they're calling -- we kid you not -- the "chief finger pointer." [TU] [Troy Record]

Brian Stratton's proposed Schenectady budget includes an almost 6 percent tax increase. Stratton says the city is facing "challenging times," which include big increases in pension and healthcare costs. [TU] [Fox23]

Albany police say a 16-year-old girl reported being temporarily abducted on Second Street yesterday. It's the second reported abduction attempt in the city in a week. [CBS6] [Fox23]

GlobalFoundries chairman Hector Ruiz told the National Press Club that Luther Forest beat out sites in Brazil, China and Russia for the new chip fab. [TU]

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Obama at HVCC today, Bruno not invited, Paterson told to drop out, transcript indicates chief used slur, men accused of blowing up turtle

obama hvcc before

The scene this morning before the event.

President Obama's appearance at HVCC today is scheduled for 11:30 am. There were no tickets made available to the public. Video from the event will be streamed on HVCC's web site. Update: Lou's posted details about how to get the stream working. [HVCC] [HVCC]

Obama's speech is expected to focus on the economy and industries such as alternative energy. HVCC was likely chosen because the Obama Administration has been touting the potential of community colleges to train workers for these industries. [Troy Record] [TU]

The usual assortment of state and local politicians will be at the Obama event -- including Paul Tonko, who's flying in on Air Force One with the POTUS. [TU] [Fox23]

Not on that list of officials: Joe Bruno, who says the White House told him specifically that he was not invited -- and told WNYT that he's "hurt by it." Bruno's pork prowess helped fund many of the projects Obama will be highlighting. [WNYT] [TU]

The White House has reportedly asked David Paterson to drop out of the 2010 gubernatorial race. Paterson says he's still planning to run. The President is expected to meet with Paterson today during his visit to the Capital Region -- and with gubernatorial candidate state attorney general Andrew Cuomo. [NYT] [AP/Troy Record] [NYDN]

(there's more)

Jennings wins Democratic mayoral primary, Joe Bruno takes a turn on the swings, plane headed for Saratoga crashes, dogs found shot

Jerry Jennings topped Corey Ellis in the Albany mayoral Democratic primary with 7,615 to 5,971 (that's 56 percent to 44 percent). At his victory party, Jennings told the crowd he "wasn't going to walk away from this city in a very challenging time." Ellis told supporters that he would "continue to fight for this city" and that "this fight is just beginning." Ellis also said problems at polling sites held down his vote total. [CBS6] [TU] [CapNews9]

In other Albany primary results: Carolyn McLaughlin beat Lenny Ricciuti for Common Council president, Kathy Sheehan won big over incumbent Betty Barnette for treasurer and Leif Engstrom holds a 225 vote lead over Darius Shahinfar for city auditor. [CapNews9] [TU]

The whole list of primary results: Albany County | Rensselaer County | Saratoga County | Schenectady County

As the jury selection process started for his federal trial, Joe Bruno took a turn on the swings at a new playground in Troy that was built with Bruno Bacon. [TU] [CapNews9]

(there's more)

Shooting death in Albany, Bruno says he feels vindicated, sheriff says DWI sweep netted mother with kids, forklift used for robbery

Albany Police say a man was found shot and killed at an apartment complex on North Pearl Street late last night (map). There have now been three shooting deaths in Albany during the last 11 days. [TU] [WNYT]

Prompted by the recent spike in violent crime, three Albany Common Council members -- including mayoral candidate Corey Ellis -- called on the city yesterday to implement the recommendations of the Gun Violence Task Force, which issued its final report in January. Jerry Jennings said yesterday that he was tired of people "politicizing the tragedies we are having in the city." [TU] [CapNews9]

While Andrew Cuomo's investigation of the State Police (pdf) did not find evidence of special political unit, the AG's office says it found "several troubling situations in which, at the highest levels of the State Police, political considerations played an improper and determinative role." In a letter, David Paterson said he was concerned about "troubling politicization of certain actions and decisions that occurred at highest levels of the State Police." This investigation grew out of the "Troopergate" scandal -- in which Joe Bruno accused the Spitzer Administration of using state police to spy on him. Bruno said yesterday that the report makes him feel "totally vindicated." [NYS AG] [TU] [NYT] [CapNews9]

The state Committee on Open Government has concluded that the Schenectady School District should have released the entire report produced by its Steven Raucci investigation. [Daily Gazette $]

(there's more)

Teen shot while riding bike, council president candidate accused of sexual harassment, attendance down slightly at Track, demolition begins on Wellington

Police say a teenager was shot in the leg as he rode his bike through Albany's West Hill neighborhood on Saturday (map). Police say they don't have a suspect. [TU] [Fox23]

Lenny Ricchiuti -- head of the Albany Police Athletic League and a candidate for Common Council president -- has been accused of sexual harassment by a former PAL employee. Ricchiuti is running against Carolyn McLaughlin for the Common Council presidency. [TU] [TU]

The Bethlehem police officer who's accused the town's police chief of using a racial slur has had his service weapons taken away -- the town cited the officer's "emotional state.". [TU]

Critics of Albany's charter schools say the schools score better on state tests because they have lower numbers of special education students. [TU]

Andrew Cuomo is expected to announce that his office has not found any evidence that a special unit of the state police had been assembled to gather information about politicians. The issue rose out of the "Troopergate" dispute between Joe Bruno and Eliot Spitzer. [NYT] [AP/Troy Record]

(there's more)

Jennings and Ellis spar over vacant buildings, state Senate paying lease on empty offices, Joe Bruno still alive, socialite's tiny dogs on display

Jerry Jennings and mayoral candidate Corey Ellis went back and forth yesterday over vacant buildings and the city's plan to paint boarded up windows to look like real windows. At a press conference on Henry Johnson, Jennings said the painted boards will help deter crime. At his own presser nearby, Ellis said "There's not enough paint in this city to solve these problems." [TU] [WNYT] [CitizenAction YouTube via PolitickerNY]

A former state Senate employee has alleged that David Paterson was having an affair with a staffer while he was lieutenant governor. That prompted a lawyer for the alleged mistress to call the former staffer "a lying weasel." [NYT]

The state Senate is paying $1.5 million on a lease for empty office space near the Capitol. [TU]

The Schenectady Free Health Clinic is on the verge of closing after its state funding didn't get renewed. [TU]

Saratoga public safety commissioner -- and mayoral candidate -- Ron Kim says the Saratogian has been too lax in allowing what he calls racist comments to be posted on its web site. (Kim is part Korean and apparently some of the comments make references to him being like Kim Jong Il). The Saratogian says Kim didn't report the offensive comments to the paper. [TU] [Saratogian]

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Man shot to death by Schenectady police, no more Bruno bacon, conflict over dredging dump site, artist accused of stealing his own paintings

Schenectady police say an officer shot and killed a man wielding a butcher knife Saturday afternoon. Schenectady's public safety commissioner says the man moved quickly toward the officer -- and there's "nothing that indicates" the officer did not comply with department's laws and regulations. The Schenectady County DA's office says it will investigate. The officer who fired on the man had been shot in the line of duty ten years ago. Saturday's shooting was the first by an officer in Schenectady since 2002. [Daily Gazette] [CapNews9] [CBS6] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

A state panel has concluded that the City of Albany's refusal to release "fixed" parking tickets could be a violation of state law. [TU]

With Joe Bruno no longer sending this bacon this way, the Capital Region's haul of state Senate pork is down 76 percent. [TU]

Andrew Cuomo has apparently "begun to embrace the possibility of a run for governor." [NYT]

It sounds like Carolyn Maloney is now leaning against challenging Kirsten Gillibrand in the Senate Democratic primary. [Politico]

(there's more)

Ravitch appointment blocked, motivational event jams traffic, Schenectady SD paid $13k for Raucci report, Troy dog park drama continues

A state Supreme Court justice in Nassau County has issued an injunction stopping Richard Ravitch's appointment as lieutenant governor. The justice also ruled that Malcolm Smith -- who's (again) the state Senate president -- would take over the role of governor if something happened to David Paterson. A spokesman for Paterson says the administration will appeal in the ruling. Despite the injunction, Ravitch says he'll be showing up for work today. [NYT][NYDN] [Daily Politics] [Fox23]

The "Get Motivated" event at the TU Center yesterday contributed to a big traffic jam in downtown Albany yesterday morning -- I-90 and I-787 had mile-long lines of standing cars. The event featured motivational speakers -- including Colin Powell and Rudy Giuliani -- pitching optimism, faith, skepticism of government and motivational products. Powell's speech was apparently the highlight of the day. (Question for another day: if having this gathering during a weekday snarled traffic so badly, what will happen if/when there's a convention center downtown?) [Fox23] [TU] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record]

Albany police say two banks -- one on New Scotland and another on Delaware -- were held up yesterday within a span of 15 minutes. And they say it looks the same person was involved in both. The guy apparently got frustrated during the first robbery attempt -- so he left without money and headed for the second bank. [Troy Record] [TU] [CapNews9]

The chairman of the Troy City Council's public safety committee says RPI needs to "bring more to the table" in assistance for fire department coverage of the campus. The union that reps Troy firefighters has been lobbying for RPI to pay a "public safety fee" to help fund firefighter staffing near the campus -- and it appears the union is going to keep pressing the issue. [TU] [Troy Record]

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Not much has changed in state Senate, Gillibrand cut off at Sotomayor hearing, judge admonished for not getting work done, pair accused of using kid to aid burglaries

Now that the state Senate leadership mess has been resolved, the chamber can move on to the really important stuff: staffing budgets. Oh, and Pedro Espada says was made majority leader because senators "trust" that "I can lead that house." [AP/Troy Record] [CapNews9]

Already bolstered by the state Senate's "extraordinary" sessions, downtown Albany restaurants are pulling for a special session. [CapNews9] [TU]

Chuck Schumer (video) and Kirsten Gillibrand (video) introduced Sonia Sotomayor at her Supreme Court nomination hearing yesterday. KG went on so long that she had to be cut off by Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (the first gavel comes at 6:25 in her video). Gillibrand does have a reputation for being loquacious. [SchumerTube] [GillibrandTube] [TU] [NYT]

Joe Bruno has already spent more than $450k on lawyers this year as part of his defense against federal corruption charges. [Daily Politics]

CSEA members showed up at last night's Albany County Legislature meeting to protest the planned five-day furloughs of county workers. The union says workers found out about the furlough via the media. Albany County exec Mike Breslin says the county is facing a $20 million budget gap. [Fox23] [CBS6]

(there's more)

Everyone seems upset in Senate mess aftermath, Albany says sewer failure wasn't its fault, bar owners brought SLA with check of a box, rain leads to exploding cherries

David Paterson says the caucus switching that's been going on in the state Senate is "so blatantly quid pro quo that it borders on the boundaries of illegality." Jim Tedisco says that the recent mess has prompted him to work on introducing legislation in the Assembly that would allow elected officials to be recalled -- he singled out Pedro Espada for "selling his office." Roy McDonald says the legislature is "evolving into a branch of the New York City Council." And Neil Breslin says the recent events have him "less excited about being a senator." [AP/TU] [TU] [Fox23] [Saratogian] [AP/Troy Record]

Friday's special session of the state Senate was canceled and the body is next scheduled to meet on Wednesday. [PolitickerNY]

One thing the Senate ovethrow/unthrow didn't stop: big pay raises for a bunch of Senate staffers. [TU]

A hearing on the constitutionality of David Paterson's appointment of Richard Ravitch to the post of lieutenant governor has been scheduled for Wednesday. Even with the state Senate mess resolved, both Paterson and Ravitch say there's still a need for a lt governor. [AP/TU] [PolitickerNY]

Lawyers for Joe Bruno are arguing that his trial for "theft of honest services" should be delayed until the Supreme Court of the United State rules on a pair of similar cases. [TU]

They City of Albany has denied almost $300k in claims related to the flooding last August. The city says the deluge "exceeded all levels for which municipal storm sewers or municipal combined sewers are designed." [TU]

(there's more)

Senate drama grinds on, land deal closed for chip fab, Tuffey back on the job, man tasered in burning house, winery planned near Saratoga

The state Senate stayed locked -- literally -- yesterday as the Republican led coalition tried to solidify its backing and Democrats tried to regain the upper hand (it looks like they'll be challenging the takeover in court). Pedro Espada, the possibly-new Senate president pro tem, said the chamber would open today -- and he proudly displayed the key to the locked room (though he wouldn't say how he obtained it). David Paterson scolded the Senate yesterday, urging its members to "to act like adults." [TU] [TU] [AP/Daily Gazette] [NYDN]

The senator-of-the-moment is Hiram Monserrate, the other Democratic switcher. It seems he might be playing both sides in a bid to get the best deal. Said one unidentified legislator: "Hiram is driving the train. God help us all." Monserrate seemed to indicate yesterday that he's sticking with the Republican-led coaltion. One apparent undercurrent to this drama is increasing friction between Latino and African American legislators (both Espada and Monserrate are Latino). [NYT] [Newsday] [Buffalo News] [Daily Politics] [NYT]

Part of yesterday's proceedings outside the Senate chamber: a clown -- who was apparently hired by the New York Post. [PolitickerNY]

GlobalFoundries closed on the land for the Luther Forest chip fab yesterday. GloFo bought 223 acres for $7.8 million. Land clearing is scheduled to start next week and construction in late July. The signed deal had Saratoga County officials celebrating what one person described as a "10,000-piece jigsaw puzzle". Others were a bit more in-your-face. Said the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce president: "To everyone who said it wouldn't happen: 'See you, suckers!'" [Daily Gazette] [Biz Review] [TU] [Post-Star] [Saratogian]

(there's more)

Woman killed in Schenectady deli stick-up, Tonko endorses Morris, Paterson reaches out to Bruno on same-sex marriage, Price Chopper alleges grocery espionage, plane lands on Route 9

A woman was shot and killed in a deli on Eastern Ave in Schenectady Friday night (map). Police say it appears the woman got caught up in the middle of a robbery -- but they're not sure whether the she was intentionally shot. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

A Troy man has been arrested for the death of his girfriend's three-year-old daughter. Police haven't said yet how the girl died. [TU]

Paul Tonko has endorsed Shawn Morris in the Albany mayoral race. Responded Jerry Jennings: "... the people behind me are the people that live in this city, that work in this city, and that will vote in this city." [TU] [CapNews9]

David Paterson has reached out to Joe Bruno to help him lobby Republican state Senators to support to the same-sex marriage bill. [Liz Benjamin]

The Obama Administration has found many of its appointees in New York State. [TU]

Another New Yorker the Obama team has leaned on heavily -- whether they like it or not: Chuck Schumer.

(there's more)

Officials expect H1N1 flu in every county eventually, first local stimulus project starts, mixed-use development planned for downtown Albany, Dr. Z gets stiffed, the weekend in chase and taser

There were 96 confirmed probable cases of the emerging H1N1 influenza in New York State as of Saturday night, according to the state department of health. Seventeen of the those cases were outside NYC -- and the state health commissioner says they expect that the virus will pop up in every county at some point. Three suspected cases from Schenectady and Albany counties have tested negative -- a suspected case in Saratoga County has gone for testing. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the virus is now "circulating all over" the country. [NYS DoH] [NYT] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [NYT]

The Capital Region's first stimulus-funded project -- the reconstruction of Delaware Ave in Albany -- starts today (map). [TU]

The final tally for spending in the Tedisco-Murphy special election: $3.6 million -- $2.05 million by Murphy and $1.55 million by Tedisco. [TU]

Scott Murphy opened an office in Saratoga Springs Friday (it was Kirsten Gillibrand's old office). Murphy mentioned KG at least six times during his public comments. Apparently the biggest complaint at Murphy's first "Congress on Your Corner" event: Murphy supporters were blocking the nearby drive-up mailbox. [Post-Star] [Saratogian]

A state commission is looking into whether the ghost parking tickets given to some state officials in Albany violated a ban on gifts. [TU]

(there's more)

State is monitoring swine flu situation, murder in Schenectady, Angelina makes shows up, baby born on Thruway, Fountain Day draws record crowd

David Paterson says the state is monitoring the swine flu situation, but doesn't see "any real danger ahead." There have been eight confirmed cases of swine flu in Queens. (Some perspective.) [Fox23] [NYT] [NYT]

The 911 call in which an off-duty Schenectady cop followed an allegedly drunk off-duty Albany police detective driving through Albany and Delmar indicates that the APD may have held off on pursuing the detective. According to the off-duty Schenectady cop's comments on the call, the APD detective could barely stand and almost hit cars coming in the opposite direction. [TU]

"Several" Albany Common Council members tell the TU that Jerry Jennings' executive assistant has been trying to convince them to drop the council's investigation of the ghost ticket scandal. [TU]

A man was shot and killed in the parking lot of a State Street topless bar in Schenectady Friday night. The SPD has identified the victim as a Schenectady resident. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [@schdypolice]

Scott Murphy said Jim Tedisco concession was a "very gracious" end to the special election. With about 700 ballots still uncounted, Murphy was up 399 votes on Tedisco Friday afternoon. Murphy got a congratulatory call from President Obama. Republicans, wondering how they lost again in a district with more enrolled Republicans than Democrats, pointed to a lack of party unity and backfiring negative ads as contributing factors to Tedisco's loss. There's speculation now that Tedisco could be on his way out of the Assembly. Murphy wouldn't say on Friday whether he plans to run again next year. [Daily Gazette] [NYS BoE] [Saratogian] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [PolitickerNY]

Angelina Jolie was in town yesterday to shoot scenes for Salt (video -- pics of the crew and shot setup). It seems locals can't get enough of gawking at the scene. Apparently the paparazzi prefer NYC, though. Oh, Brad Pitt was not here -- he was in Niagara Falls. [TU] [TU] [CBS6] [Troy Record] [TU] [Telegraph UK] [TU] [Buffalo News]

(there's more)

State worker union says it rejected another no-layoff deal, horse breeder charged with animal cruelty, whupping charges lessened, bakery's sales up with help of cupcakes and Facebook

Note: the TU's site was loading erratically, if at all, for us this morning.

One of the state worker unions says it rejected a deal offered by the Paterson administration in which the creation of a new pension tier would guarantee no layoffs. According to many reports last week, the Paterson administration has offered a handful of deals involving cuts in raises or other concessions in return for a no-layoffs guarantee. The unions have rejected these deals. [TU]

As of Friday afternoon the unofficial count from the New York State Board of Elections has Scott Murphy up 35 votes on Jim Tedisco in the 20th Congressional District special election. The counting of absentee ballots continues this week. Democrats in Columbia County accused Republicans participating in the count there of "acting in bad faith." What happens if the election ends up in a tie at the end of all this counting? You guessed it: we get to do it all over again. [NYS BoE] [TU] [Troy Record]

The horse breeder accused of not providing proper nourishment to horses on a farm in Coxsackie was formally charged with animal cruelty on Friday. A human society official described the farm as a "puppy mill" for horses. [AP/Saratogian] [TU]

The four Schenectady teens who recently committed suicide were linked by a common leader of sorts who was the the first to kill herself. [Daily Gazette]

(there's more)

Dalai Lama visit cancelled, Sweeney picked up for DWI again, Tuffey's niece had bull's eye sticker, another Schenectady HS suicide, school district ordered to pay for not preventing beating, Albany Freenet expanding

A representative for the Dalai Lama tells the TU that the Buddhist spiritual leader will not be coming to Albany as planned. It seems concerns surrounding the sponsor organization's ties to NXIVM, the controversial "personal growth" training org, caused the Dalai Lama's people to reconsider. [TU]

The state Senate finished passing the budget bills Friday night. Assessments of the budget differed greatly between the two parties. Even with passage in both houses, the contents of the budget aren't entirely clear -- and it may have to be revised later this year. [TU] [Daily Politics] [NYT]

At the least for the moment, the vote totals for Jim Tedisco and Scott Murphy are exactly tied. That number is almost sure to change as five counties have yet to finish re-checking the numbers on their voting machines. Tedisco announced Friday that he was stepping down as Assembly minority leader to "focus on his transition to Congress" -- though he also said he's not declaring victory. It seems Assembly Republicans were also keen to push him out of the position. The Saratoga Springs regional office for the 20th Congressional District has temporarily re-opened with its old staff while the election is sorted out. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [NYT] [Daily Gazette] [Post-Star]

Former Congressman John Sweeney was arrested early Sunday morning for allegedly driving drunk on Route 9 in Clifton Park. This is Sweeney's second DWI arrest, which bumped the charge up to a felony. Earlier in Sweeney's career he served as Rensselaer County's STOP-DWI coordinator. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Troy Record]

Among those who had a bull's eye sticker: the niece of police chief James Tuffey (another one of her uncles was also police chief for a time). An unidentified source tells the TU that Tuffey's niece didn't get a ticket for a 2007 crash because of the sticker. [TU]

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Siena leaves its mark on the NCAA tournament, Morris calls for more community policing, stabbing in Ballston Spa, baracking

Siena put up a good fight against #1 seed Louisville in the second round of the NCAA tournament, but ultimately lost 79-72. After trailing at halftime by five, the Saints took the lead a little more than 10 minutes into the second half and held it until about four minute mark. [TU] [ESPN]

The org that runs New York's electricity market says an arrangement in which buyers of electricity pay more than the lowest bid is a feature, not a bug. [TU]

A study sponsored by a free market academic center concludes that New York State has the lowest level of personal and economic freedom in the country. [TU]

A 2005 report about then-state Senate minority leader David Paterson's office describes an operation with problems very similar to those exhibited during Paterson's first year as governor: chaos, indecisiveness and jumbled communication. [NYDN]

Albany Common Council president -- and mayoral candidate -- Shawn Morris says the APD has shifted its focus away from community policing -- and that's contributed to a recent surge in crime. [TU]

Forty percent of children in Albany County live in poverty -- as do 25 percent of people in Schenectady -- according to a report out from an advocacy org. [Daily Gazette]

The manager of the TU Center says he'd like to see mixed martial arts fighting legalized in New York State. He estimates ultimate fighting could sell out the arena and generate $1 million to $2 million in economic activity. [Daily Gazette]

After two of the three finalists for the job of UAlbany president dropped out, a source tells the TU the search will likely be reopened. UAlbany has been looking for a new president for more than two years. [TU]

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The spitzering: one year later

paterson_with_spitzer.jpg

No one's clapping now.

The news that Eliot Spitzer had been caught in a prostitution sting went public a year ago today.

It almost seems like it's been even longer than that -- so much has happened since then. After a year, who's up? Who's down? We've put together a scorecard.

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Debate today for special Congressional race, man charged with Troy murder, bankruptcy filings up, Luther Forest spinoff company a done deal

The latest from the very special election to fill Kirsten Gillibrand's former House seat: Jim Tedisco and Scott Murphy will debate today at the Saratoga Springs Public Library at 1:30 pm. Yesterday, Rudy Giuliani campaigned with Jim Tedisco in Dutchess County. And Scott Murphy was endorsed by the AFL-CIO. [CapNews9] [Fox23] [Saratogian]

Albany Common Councilman Corey Ellis officially announced that he's running for mayor yesterday. Here's his web site.

Joe Bruno was taken to the hospital yesterday after he was involved in a car wreck on Rt. 7 in Colonie. A spokesman for Bruno says an oncoming car jumped the median and hit Bruno's car. The spokesman says Bruno is sore and slightly bruised, but otherwise OK. [TU] [Troy Record]

A Schenectady cop was arraigned yesterday in Colonie on charges of DWI and leaving the scene of an accident. The Schenectady police chief says the officer has been suspended 30 days without pay. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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Stimulus stimulates budget talk, chip fab deal hits snag, guilty verdict tossed over racial remark, candy maker expects subdued Valentine's Day

Both Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand voted for the federal stimulus bill yesterday -- they say New York State could be getting about $20 billion from the bill. That has state leaders thinking about the impact on the state budget. David Paterson says the state still needs to make significant budget cuts. He also said he wouldn't support the proposed tax on high-income households -- unless the Legislature could come up with $11 billion in budget cuts. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [NYDN]

The AMD shareholder vote on the spin-off that would own the Luther Forest chip fab was delayed yesterday after the company couldn't get enough votes together for an official decision. The vote was rescheduled for next week -- both company and local officials seemed confident the deal would still go through. AMD's stock dropped 12 percent on news of the delayed vote. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Saratogian]

The FBI and State Police raided tenant offices at the Port of Albany yesterday. The raid is part of an ongoing investigation into extortion and bid-rigging among businesses there. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Joe Bruno's federal trial has been scheduled for November of this year. His attorney says they'll be trying to get charges dismissed before then. One complication for the trial: finding jurors with an open mind about Bruno's guilt or innocence. [TU]

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Dems pick candidate for Gillibrand replacement race, stabbing in downtown Saratoga, RPI involved with Africa education intiative, local sales of YakTrax up

The Democrats have picked Glens Falls venture capitalist Scott Murphy to run in the special election for Kirsten Gillibrand's seat. Murphy emerged as the choice after former TV anchor Tracy Egan and AFL-CIO official Suzy Ballantyne dropped out. The 10 Democratic county chairman made their pick yesterday at the Gateway Diner in Albany (no, that's not in the district) while, apparently, wearing lots of Gillibrand flair. [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record] [TU] [@pattigibbons]

Murphy will face Jim Tedisco in the special election -- and people are already lining up to replace Tedisco should he win. [Saratogian]

Police say a man was stabbed multiple times early Sunday morning at Club 388 on Broadway in downtown Saratoga Springs. The victim was airlifted to Albany Med. Police arrested two men shortly after the incident -- the cops had been on patrol in the area. [CapNews9] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

Saratoga Springs mayor Scott Johnson says the city's council "has already embraced the concept, but not the details" of paid parking downtown. That's not going over well with downtown business owners. [TU]

As David Paterson's public profile has taken a hit (or, hits) over the last few weeks, it appears that Sheldon Silver is controlling the agenda at the Capitol. [AP/Saratogian] [TU]

Joe Bruno, who's under federal indictment, in a recent memo to employees at the consulting firm he now heads: "If there was ever a time to be righteously indignant, that time is now." [TU]

(there's more)

Ice and freezing rain on the way, budget process again focus of Capitol, Bruno calls indictment "garbage," texting gets UAlbany teams in trouble, don't be a spigot pig

The storm that's moving the through the area today has already glazed large portions of the South and Midwest. Ice and freezing rain are expected here this afternoon. [AP]

With the Senate selection circus over, things returned to normal at the Capitol -- which is to say, gridlock and complaining about the budget. [AP/Troy Record] [TU]

New York State comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says year-end bonuses on Wall Street were down 44 percent this year -- and that will cost the state $1 billion in tax revenue. [Biz Review]

David Paterson says he won't pursue the source(s) of the leaks about Caroline Kennedy from his administration. That's created a weird situation where many members of the press know who the leaker (or leakers) is -- and the governor's telling them not to tell anyone. [AP/Troy Record] [NY Post]

Kirsten Gillibrand officially became a US Senator yesterday (99th on the seniority list), as she continued to take heat over her views on guns and immigration. [NYDN] [Daily Gazette] [NYT]

After officially being tapped as the Republican candidate in the upcoming special election to replace Kirsten Gillibrand, Jim Tedisco said his focus will be "jobs, jobs, jobs." Tedisco doesn't actually live in the Congressional district (he's not required to), but says he'll move there. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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Local home prices hold steady, former NYS health commissioner accused of abusing staff, Bruno says they've messed with the wrong guy, Honest Weight sales up

Median home prices in the the Capital Region fell one percent last year, according to figures from the Greater Capital Association of Realtors. The number of transactions did slow considerably -- down 15 percent. In the four core counties of the Capital Region, median prices held steady -- and in Albany County the median sales price actually went up one percent. An economics consultancy is projecting that home prices here will fall two percent this year. [Biz Review] [TU]

Kirsten Gillibrand is scheduled to take the oath of office for the Senate today. At 42-years-old, she'll become the nation's youngest US Senator. [AP]

As many as 25 Democrats are hoping to snag the nomination to run for Gillibrand's soon-to-be old House seat. There are also a bunch of Republicans in the scrum, though it seems three frontrunners have emerged (Tedisco, Little, Faso). [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Former New York State health commissioner Anotonia Novello "shamelessly and blatantly exploited and abused her staff, adding a new dimension to the definition of 'arrogance' and 'chutzpah'," according to the NYS Inspector General's office. Among Novello's alleged transgressions: she commandeered state staff and vehicles for frequent shopping expeditions. Novello's lawyer says the former commissioner didn't do anything that "calls for criminal prosecution." [NYT]

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Is Joe Bruno going to prison?

joe brunoToday has become Christmas, Hanukkah, Easter, Halloween, Purim, St. Patrick's Day, Fourth of July and Boxing Day all rolled into one for the political junkies and media in New York State.

Not only has Kirsten Gillibrand been appointed to the Senate, but Joe Bruno has been indicted.

The eight count indictment alleges that Bruno used his influence as state Senate majority leader to score $3.2 million in consulting fees from private clients. (The TU has posted a copy of the indictment.)

Uncle Joe was arraigned this afternoon -- he pleaded not guilty -- and was defiant, saying he's been "a target of a get Joe Bruno campaign."

If convicted, Bruno could get 20 years in prison.

In other news, officials from nearby federal penitentiaries said they're excited about their chances of landing a multi-billion dollar chip fab facility.

Joe Bruno's daughter under scrutiny, Thruway toll hike kicks in, local t-shirt biz hopes to help kids in Africa, ice fishing heats up,

The TU reports that Susan Bruno -- Joe Bruno's daughter -- has come under scrutiny as part of the long-running federal investigation into her father. At issue: whether Susan Bruno was given a high-paying job at the SUNY Research Foundation, but not really required to do much. Also: her spelling skills apparently need some work. [TU]

Filings at the Albany office of federal bankruptcy court were up more than 20 percent in 2008 over the year before. [TU]

Gun sellers at a show in Saratoga Springs say business is way up this year. They cite concerns among gun owners that the Obama Administration will push for stiffer gun control laws. [Saratogian] [CapNews9]

A five percent increase in Thruway tolls took effect on Sunday. [Fox23]

(there's more)

Tens of thousands still without power, Paterson to propose "obesity tax," friend says Bruno indictment likely, SPAC renovation on ice

As of this morning, 75,000 homes in the Capital Region were still without power. National Grid says homes are being returned to the grid "every minute of every day." The utility company says it could be Wednesday before all the repairs are made -- and now there's concern that high winds today will set things back. [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record] [TU]

A married couple in Glenville died this weekend from carbon monoxide fumes produced by their generator. At least 15 other people around the region were taken to hospitals for carbon monoxide poisoning caused by using grills inside. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

With no power at home, people flocked to stores and restaurants this weekend. An Italian restaurant in Schenectady was so busy it ran out of spaghetti. [TU] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]

Many of the Amtrak trains running between Rensselaer and NYC are still canceled. [CapNews9]

(there's more)

Joe Bruno is all about sunshine now

joe_bruno.jpgNo, really, it's true. He says so in today's New York Times.

OK, what he actually said was:

"I feel like technology is a place that governments at all levels are going to have to look at for relief, to create efficiencies that they want and need, to create the service that people demand these days, to be responsive and to do it in a cost-effective way."

"[The press] can have some fun with that, but I've always really been kind of on the leading edge of being open."

Of course, this is the guy who fought to keep member items (you know, pork) secret. Now that he's pitching computer systems for Latham-based CMA Consulting -- hey, open databases for everyone!

A few other tidbits about what else Bruno's up to these days, after the jump.

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Too much rain in Rensselaer, Bruno will be interfacing with officials, YouTube vigilante, tunnel found in Stockade, Curlin owner issues challenge to Big Brown

State DEC officials say it looks like the recent flooding in Rensselaer was just the result of too much rain in too short a period of time. Rensselaer city leaders had been questioning whether development in the Greenbushes had overwhelmed the area's drainage system. The National Weather Service in Albany estimates Rensselaer got up to 6 inches of rain on Monday. [TU]

Joe Bruno has registered as a lobbyist with New York State. By law, he's not allowed to lobby the legislature for two years, but he says he will be "interfacing" with officials in the executive branch for his job as CEO of a computer services company. [TU]

Time on the $100 million Blue Gene supercomputer at RPI will be available free to New York State businesses -- if they can figure out how to use it. [Biz Review] [Daily Gazette]

(there's more)

Soares dumps Spitzer-Bruno documents, state official recommends firing Saratoga teacher, buried in the backyard, a two million dollar horse

David Soares' office released more than 8,000 pages of documents from the investigation into the Spitzer administration's "Let's get Joe Bruno by tracking his travel on state aircraft" plot. The short story: the Spitzer admin tried to hatch the plan while keeping the former Gov publicly out of it (though he was involved behind the scenes). Also: Spitzer didn't like Bruno, which probably comes as a surprise to, well, no one. [TU]

A hearing officer for the state Department of Education has recommended that a tenured Saratoga Springs teacher be fired for having what was apparently a platonic, though weird, relationship with one of his students. The 36-year-old teacher and 14-year-old emailed, texted, and IM'ed each other about poetry and met up at places such as Uncommon Grounds. No criminal charges have been filed. [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

The Albany Airport Authority moved a historic house, intact, more than 200 feet yesterday in order to clear it from a safety zone. [TU]

A woman who recently moved to Schenectady's Hamilton Hill neighborhood was flipping over old patio stones in her backyard and one turned out to be... a grave stone from 1849. A local historian says most of the neighborhood was once a cemetery. Said the historian to the Gazette: "It's a great little piece of Schenectady history. I think a lot of people didn't realize they're living in a former graveyard." No, that probably wasn't in the MLS listing. [Daily Gazette]

A horse went for $2 million last night at the Fasig Tipton Selected Yearling Sale. That was the highest price paid at this year's sale. The horse has bloodlines that run back to Secretariat. [TU]

Tom Roohan -- of realty fame -- would rather you steal his horse and admire it rather than kick it. [TU] [Saratogian] [Fox23]

CEO Bruno, legislator uses "judo hold" on tenant, commissioner says Schenectady cops need their gas guzzlers

Today's the opening day at The Track. Bring an umbrella.

Papa Joe's got a brand new bag. As expected, Joe Bruno has taken a job with CMA Consulting, an IT company. He'll be the CEO of the company. CMA has done millions of dollars of business with New York State over the last few years -- and watchdogs are saying Bruno should get "ethical guidance" from the Commission on Public Integrity. But Bruno says his goal at CMA is to expand the business and doesn't plan to focus on drumming up new contracts from the state. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [NYT]

Brian Scavo, the Albany County legislator who's been charged with stalking a woman, will be appearing in court this week after an alleged scuffle with a tenant. Apparently one man's "judo hold" is another's "choking." [TU]

Wayne Bennett, the Schenectady Public Safety Commissioner, has put the brakes on a recommendation that the city replace some of its Crown Vic police cruisers with more fuel efficient cars (the current cruisers get 8 mpg). Bennett says the cars get terrible gas mileage because they're always idling in order to provide power to officers' laptops and radio. He also says alternative cars aren't big enough. [Daily Gazette]

AMD chip fab "full steam ahead," violent crime in Schenectady down, Bruno takes victory lap, horse slaughter protest planned

The AMD chip fab project proposed for Luther Forest appears to still be on track despite a change in leadership at the company and a huge quarterly loss. Chuck Schumer says the both the old and new CEO told him the Luther Forest project is "full steam ahead." Of course, AMD has still not definitively committed to the project, yet. [TU]

Violent crime is down in Schenectady over the last two years. Officials are attributing the decline to a state program that's put up money for more patrols and intelligence gathering. The city's about to get $900k more from the program. [Daily Gazette]

Two people were sent to the hospital by a lightning strike Friday evening at the Saratoga County Fair. It looks like the lightning hit a pine tree under which they were standing. [Daily Gazette]

Joe Bruno led a bus tour/victory lap around the Capital Region Friday afternoon for the media. Among the stops: Joe Bruno Stadium and the Joe Bruno bust at ALB. The very last scrap of Bruno bacon may have come in the form of an ice cream the now-former state Senator bought for a little kid at the Rennselaer train station. [TU]

A group opposed to horse slaughter for human consumption is planning to protest at the opening of The Track on Wednesday. [Saratogian]

Two Starbucks in the Capital Region will be closing: 1818 Central Ave. in Colonie (near Kohl's) and 2441 Watt St. in Schenectady. [Business Review]

The Capital District Federation of Ideas is giving up Point 5, its headquarters on Madison Ave in Albany. CDFI has been having trouble covering the rent. It's hoping to use the money it had been putting toward rent into other projects. [TU]

Troy City Hall to be knocked down, Bruno says Spitzer was "nuts," something may be rotten at Colonie's dump, local unemployment rate up

A $6 million slab of Bruno bacon, probably the last of his pork, will be put towards a project that includes the demolition of Troy City Hall. A riverfront park and underground parking garage are slated for its place. There doesn't appear to be a solid plan for where the new city hall will go, but Harry Tutunjian and the city council -- who have been fighting over this for months -- are vowing to work together on the relocation. [TU] [Troy Record]

Joe Bruno will officially resign from his state Senate seat at midnight tonight. In an exit interview of sorts with the Troy Record, Bruno says he'll miss the power that comes with being one of the The Three Men in the Room. He also says that he "knew there was something wrong with" Eliot Spitzer after their first meeting, describing the former gov as "certifiably nuts." [Troy Record]

The Town of Colonie, the state DEC and the AG's office are investigating whether a trash hauler defrauded the town landfill of $15 million in revenue. The company has been accused of working with landfill employees to systematically underreport the amount of garbage it's been dumping. In May, a former employee reportedly complained that they had been fired for not going along with the alleged scheme. [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record]

The candidates for the 21st Congressional District (McNulty's seat) got together last night to talk about their positions on a range of topics. "Change" was apparently a popular topic. [Daily Gazette] [Daily Gazette]

The head of AMD, the company talking about building a massive chip fab plant at Luther Forest, stepped down yesterday. Hector Ruiz had been under pressure after the company reported losing more than $1 billion last quarter. The new CEO is reportedly a star engineer who's respected on Wall Street. AMD has still not officially committed to the Luther Forest project. [TU] [NYT]

The Capital Region unemployment rate hit 4.9 percent last month, that's a full point higher than the same period last year. [TU]

Don't you just hate it when your star artist neighbor won't quit bugging you about that 90 acre parcel of land in Rensselaerville until you sell it to him? [TU]

Joe Bruno's next job?

joe brunoIn making his "I'm outta here" announcement, Joe Bruno reportedly said he's not looking to kick back and "play with horses." So what's his plan? According to the TU, Bruno is considering a job with CMA Consulting Services, a firm based in Latham.

So, what do they do? We poked around a bit to find out.

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Bruno's leaving this week, concrete drivers back behind the wheel, poster board broken out in Saratoga public safety building fight, Peerless Pool opening soon

Joe Bruno has announced he will officially leave his state Senate seat this Friday. Bruno says he's not "the kind of guy to retire and just play with horses and golf and whatever else is there" -- he will reportedly take a job with CMA Consulting Services, a firm whose clients include many New York State agencies. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

One more detail about that $1.5 billion IBM chip fab research deal: RPI and its $100 million supercomputer will be involved with research into how to encase the chips and connect them to computers. [Daily Gazette]

A group of concrete truck drivers have ended their strike after their union agreed to a new four year deal. The drivers had been out for a week, which put a snag in a handful of construction projects. [TU]

The owner of steel manufacturing company in Schenectady says a proposed roundabout for Erie Blvd might bump him from the city because his adult video bookstore owning landlord -- who says the roundabout is a plot to get him -- would be forced to take over his space. [Daily Gazette]

Ron Kim, the Saratoga Springs Public Safety Commissioner, has unveiled what he calls a "failure-o-meter" to keep track of how long it takes the city council to issue bonds for the new public safety building. The city's finance commissioner, who ultimately must issue the bonds, says Kim hasn't provided him with all the necessarily details about costs. [Saratogian]

CDTA will stop exchanging tokens at the end of this month. The authority stopped accepting the tokens for fares in January. [TU]

The Peerless Pool at Spa State Park is expected to open Friday, three weeks after its originally scheduled opening. [Daily Gazette]

Keehn not running for Bruno's seat, whither all the Bruno pork?, new high school has leaky roof, live grenade found

Val Keehn is now saying that she will not run for the Democratic nomination in the race for Joe Bruno's state Senate seat. The former mayor of Saratoga Springs will instead support Joanne Yepsen, who's currently Saratoga Springs town supervisor. Keehn says she decided not to run after hearing that Mike Russo, who currently works for Kirsten Gillibrand, is considering a run. Russo has not officially declared yet. There's already one Democrat who has -- Brian Premo. [TU] [Saratogian]

Now that Bruno's no longer leader of the state Senate, will the Capital Region go back to getting pretzels (Joe Bruno's word) from the state. Dean Skelos, the new majority leader, says no. Others aren't so sure. What is certain: Joe Bruno brought home a lot of pork -- and his name is on a bunch of stuff. So many things bear his name that his staff has lost track. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Sixteen hours after a community anti-violence meeting in the neighborhood, two men were shot on the north end of Lark Street in Albany. [TU]

The new Rensselaer High School, just six months old, already has a leaking roof. And it smells weird. [Troy Record]

A construction worker found a live grenade while sifting top soil at a construction site in Milton Friday afternoon. The bomb squad destroyed it. Officials aren't sure where the grenade came from. [Daily Gazette]

The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (the big church at Madison and Eagle in Albany), will soon be closing for 18 months of renovations. [WNYT]

Get your hands in the air, Duanesburg. Snoop Dog is coming to town. [Daily Gazette]

Speed reading more coverage of Joe Bruno

joe brunoWe've sifted, sorted and relentlessly refreshed Google News so you don't have to. It's like knowing what's up with the Joe Bruno story without even trying. Another round of bite-sized facts, bits of analysis, and quotes after the jump.

(Earlier on AOA: Speed reading the coverage of Joe Bruno)

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Speed reading the coverage of Joe Bruno

joe_bruno.jpgupdated 3:21 pm

We've read the Joe Bruno coverage, so you don't you have to. Many bite-sized facts, bits of analysis, and quotes after the jump.

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Brian Premo: Joe Bruno is like the guy who sunk the Titanic

New York State Capitol

This has been Joe's house for a long time.

Joe Bruno actually has a challenger this year for his state Senate seat. His name is Brian Premo. He's a defense attorney from Lansingburgh with a wife and four boys. And he's been endorsed by the Saratoga and Rensselaer County Democratic committees.

But Joe Bruno has been in the Senate for 32 years, he's been majority leader for 14 of those years. He's the most powerful Republican in New York State. Heck, seemingly half the buildings and parks in Rensselaer County are named after him. So why would a person do this to themselves?

AOA called Premo to ask: "What are you thinking?"

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10-year-old shot and killed, Skidmore students busted for drugs, Bruno is running again, money for hybrid buses

A 10-year-old girl was killed last night in Albany by what looks like a stray bullet. A ward leader from the neighbhorhood (the area around Bleecker Stadium) says she hears about shots being fired "every night." [TU]

Police busted a Saratoga Springs drug operation that they say included eight current or former Skidmore students. The college has a bit of a rep as stoner school -- it was 14th in the Princeton Review's "Reefer Madness" rankings and the Saratoga DA says his office had been receiving phone calls from parents concerned about drugs on campus. [Daily Gazette]

It sounds like state Republicans are preparing for a fight with David Paterson over his directive that state agencies recognize same-sex marriages from other states. [NYT]

All but official: Joe Bruno is running for re-election. When asked about it directly, though, Bruno responded with his usual charm. Brian Premo, a Democrat who's been saying he would run against Bruno, is apparently now ready to officially announce next week. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

If you had been waiting for the coveted Ron Paul endorsement before picking your guy in the 21st Congressional District (McNulty's current seat) Republican nomination, wait no longer. The Ron Paul Revolution has gotten behind Steven Vazquez. [TU]

Bethlehem police arrested a man yesterday on charges that he attempted to pay two teenage girls for the chance to smell their feet. [CBS6]

CDTA scored $2 million from the feds to put toward buying diesel-electric hybrid buses. [Business Review]

Who's in charge around here?

david paterson

If something happens to him, then what?

So, when David Paterson had to go to the hospital earlier this week, we thought "Oh wow, if something happens to him, that means Joe Bruno is governor." But then we thought, "Wait, what if something then happens to Joe Bruno? Then what?"

So we asked Bennett Liebman, the Executive Director of Albany Law School's Center for Government and Law to set us straight. Here's how it works...

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Speed reading even more of the Spitzer coverage

Spitzer's Kristen

Yep, according to the Times, that's her.

OK, here we go again. We've picked through piles of the coverage of Spitzer spitzering himself to pull out facts and details so you don't have to.

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Morning Blend: Barbara Bruno, cellphone drivers, Saratoga fountain makeover

+ Almost all the big names in state government were at Barbara Bruno's funeral yesterday. After "outvoting" his children, Joe Bruno gave the eulogy, recounting how his wife "really disliked politicians" and taught him how to speak proper English. He also reportedly hugged Eliot Spitzer. [NYT]

+ Troy police got $15,000 from the state to go after people who talk on their cellphones while driving. The Troy PD says it will be targeting areas around high schools and colleges. [TU]

+ City officials in Troy are fighting over how they should get Rennselaer to pay $3.5 million in unpaid water bills. [Troy Record]

+ The historic Morrissey Fountain in Saratoga's Congress Park is getting a makeover. [TU]

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It's a definitely a start. Liking the thinking. The innovative redevelopment of unused/underused spaces only stands to benefit a city and its region, serving as an inspiration to others around the world. Mix that in with the addition of more parks, greenery and public spaces and you've got a higher quality of life across the board. ...

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