Once in a while there really IS justice in the Soprano State!
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Visit courierpostonline.com/Bryant for full coverage of the trial.
Former state Sen. Wayne Bryant was found guilty of all 12 counts of bribery and pension fraud Tuesday, convictions that could send him to prison for years.
A jury of six men and six women deliberated for over parts of three days before finding the veteran legislator guilty of selling his office for personal gain and inflating his state pension with work he did not perform.
Bryant’s co-defendant, Dr. Michael Gallagher, was found guilty of all but one count of carrying out the bribery scheme with Bryant and also faces prison time.
Attorneys for both men, who contended before the trial began that the prosecution overstepped its bounds in bringing criminal charges in this case.
The case emanated from a part-time job that Bryant obtained at the School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford, where Gallagher was dean, in 2003.
The government alleged that the ”community outreach” job was phony, mere camouflage for the real reason the school was paying the senator $35,000 a year: To buy his influence in Trenton.
Through testimony and documentation, the office of the U.S Attorney laid out its case that in the years before Bryant joined the payroll at the School of Osteopathic Medicine he secured no money for the school, but in the three years following his hire he steered more than $10 million the school’s way.
His job at the medical school consisted of little more than showing up on Tuesday morning and ”reading the newspapers,” several employees at the school testified.
But as chairman of the powerful Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, the government demonstrated to the jury’s satisfaction, Bryant managed to add $2.3 million to the school’s budget almost immediately and to follow that up with an extra $800,000 for a child support program run by the school and another $200,000 for a program for the elderly.
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