A grand jury has again handed up a criminal charge against Robert Wiesner, the husband of Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks.
Today, Wiesner was arraigned on a single felony count of combination in restraint of trade and competition, which is legalese for bid-rigging; he pleaded not guilty. The indictment, which will be prosecuted by the State Attorney General's Office, alleges that Wiesner was part of an effort to rig a Monroe County public safety contract.
Last November, Wiesner was hit with two counts of the same charge in a sweeping indictment that alleged bid-rigging schemes in two county-linked local development corporations: Upstate Telecommunications Corporation and Monroe Safety and Security Systems. He was one of four defendants charged under the indictment.
In August, State Supreme Court Justice Robert Noonan dismissed the original charges against Wiesner, at the request of Wiesner's attorney, James Nobles. Wiesner was never given the chance to testify before the original grand jury, Nobles said, even though he'd requested to do so. The AG's office agreed to the request, but asked the judge for permission to present the case to a new grand jury. Noonan allowed a single charge to go forward and dismissed the other.
“I welcome the grand jury’s decision to re-indict Robert Wiesner on a felony charge stemming from the joint investigation my office conducted with Comptroller DiNapoli into allegations of bid-rigging in Monroe County," Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. "We look forward to bringing this matter to trial.”
All four defendants pleaded not guilty when they were charged last year. The cases against the remaining three defendants have been advancing through the courts.