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.
Local state lawmakers are reacting to today's guilty verdict against former aide to Governor Cuomo, Joseph Percoco on corruption charges. This latter charge could create more legal headaches for both Percoco (and Cuomo) on grounds that he still had access to state offices - and probably influence - when he should not have had either. 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.
Prosecutors have said that Kelly bribed Percoco by giving his wife, Lisa Percoco, a mostly no-show job that paid $90,000 a year for three years in an ultimately unsuccessful effort to win favorable treatment from state officials for two power plant projects. The jury found Cor Development executive Steve Aiello guilty on one count of bribery, but his business partner Joseph Girardi was found not guilty on any of the charges.
The jury could not reach a unanimous decision on one count for Peter Galbraith Kelly Jr., the fourth defendant in the case.
"Albany stays on trial", said Blair Horner, executive director of the New York Public Interest Research Group.
Howe, who had pleaded guilty to eight felonies and was cooperating with prosecutors, described how Percoco helped the Syracuse company evade a costly union requirement on a development and wrangled a pay raise for Aiello's son, who worked in state government.
According to multiple reports from the Manhattan courtroom, Caproni told the jurors that they could reach a verdict on some of the 10 counts in the case and keep deliberating on others, or return a verdict on some of the counts and remain deadlocked on others. State Senator and GOP candidate for Governor John DeFrancisco says testimony and evidence in the trial showed that when Percoco was off the state payroll for most of 2014, and managing Cuomo's re-election campaign, he continued to use his state offices and privileges, making 837 phone calls and meeting with other Cuomo aides. After the verdict, a message left with Cuomo's spokesman was not immediately returned.
Cuomo, in a statement, said he finds the verdict "personally painful" because he has known Percoco for a long time.
The first notice came last Tuesday, the same day three jurors cited work and childcare issues in asking to be dismissed. The trial of Mr. Kaloyeros, the former president of the State University's Polytechnic Institute, involves bid-rigging in Mr. Cuomo's signature upstate economic development plan, the so-called Buffalo Billion.
Sentencing will be held June 11. He faces up to 20 years in prison.