Former State Senate leader Joe Bruno was found not guilty of fraud charges Friday following a retrial.
The Rensselaer County Republican was accused of being paid for consulting work that he did not actually do.
After just hours of deliberation, the jury acquitted Bruno, ending a nearly nine-year investigation.
The 85-year-old did not testify during his retrial.
Speaking to reporters outside the federal courthouse in Albany, Bruno said he is grateful the trial is over.
"Cause I dedicated my life primarily to public service, my adult life. So I just want to say thank you, thank you thank you. And thank you! Those of you that were fair, some of you were more fair than others, but I want to thank you," Bruno said.
Bruno was the Senate majority leader for 14 years until he stepped down in 2008.
He was on trial for two counts of honest services mail fraud as part of a larger, ongoing nine-year legal battle which concluded with this case.