Joseph Percoco, ex-aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, convicted in corruption trial

Erika Holt
March 14, 2018

Joseph Percoco, a former top aide to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, was found guilty Tuesday of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and solicitation of bribes, a rebuke of Albany's murky backroom dealings that were laid bare during the almost eight-week trial. "Joseph Percoco was found guilty of taking over $300,000 in cash bribes by selling something priceless that was not his to sell, the sacred obligation to honestly and faithfully serve the citizens of NY", U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement. Gerardi was found not guilty of both charges.

Kelly was charged with providing Percoco's wife, Lisa Toscano Percoco, with a $90,000-per-year job with a CPV educational program - a salary that, according to trial testimony, she performed little work for, and that was paid through an obscure Connecticut-based firm in order to hide her employment from public view.

Two executives from the Syracuse area firm COR Development, Steven Aiello and Joseph Gerardi, were acquitted of most of the charges they faced connected to allegations they paid bribes to Percoco, though Aiello was convicted of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud.

At the height of his influence, Percoco, whom Cuomo had once described as his father's "third son", was known as the governor's enforcer, responsible for everything from keeping lawmakers in line and intimidating Cuomo's political rivals to making sure chairs and thermostats were in order for the governor'spublic appearances. The jury found Percoco received $35,000 in bribes in exchange for helping the company beat back a labor agreement and get reimbursed for funds owed to them by the state.

"The suggestion that he knew nothing about it when everybody, everybody understands that he is a micromanager of the first degree", said DeFrancisco.

Cuomo was not charged with any crimes by the federal prosecutor or implicated in Percoco's deeds. Another, interestingly enough, was about a bribe he allegedly secured while on a leave of absence to run Cuomo's 2014 reelection campaign. But he says he respects the jury's decision, and agrees that there is "no tolerance for any violation of the public trust".

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Jurors had informed the court twice that they were deadlocked in the case against Percoco and three businessmen accused of paying his family more than $300,000 in bribes, but U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni asked them to keep deliberating and on Tuesday said she would accept a partial verdict.

"By any definition, Albany has a corruption problem", Horner said.

He will be sentenced on June 11.

Prosecutors in the Percoco case had relied heavily on testimony from another former Cuomo aide, Todd Howe.

Percoco faces a prison term of up to 50 years.

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