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Bruno Case Back In The Limelight

By Dave Lucas


Albany, NY – The New York State Public Integrity Commission has spent several months looking into former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno's eldest daughter's work as an employee of the Research Foundation of the State University of New York. Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas spoke with a Times Union reporter who has been probing the case.

An individual described as "a participant" in the Public Integrity Commission investigation involving Susan Bruno tells the Times Union investigators acquired "boxes" of records and letters after seeking written material referencing Bruno's name or position.

Times Union reporter James Odato became interested in trying to figure out Bruno's exact role as a foundation employee: The investigation revolves around the circumstances, specifically the "work status" of Susan Bruno's employment and comes in the wake of newspaper reports that the foundation allowed Bruno to work at home and that she rarely used her downtown Albany office. The Times Union said that in Bruno's resume submitted for her post, she cited educational achievements that she had not reached. After six years with the foundation, Bruno resigned in 2009 after the newspaper stories were published.

Bruno was paid just over 84-thousand dollars a year - Odato says the foundation challenged a court order that the Times Union be given access to time sheets it requested under the Freedom of Information Law. Officials at his office said Susan Bruno's attorney Steve Coffey was busy with a case, unable to return a call for comment in time for broadcast. A spokesman for the state Public Integrity Commission said state law prohibited him from commenting,as all investigations are confidential. Jim Odato says if the Commission decides to go forward with charges, those charges will be made public. He says The Times Union is determined to get the records it foiled, but several months may lapse before the case concludes.

Calls for comment to The Research Foundation returned a request for comment by email, stating "The Research Foundation does not comment on the status of current or past employees and does not comment on investigations, including whether or not an investigation is being conducted."