Former Cuomo aide convicted, acquitted of some charges in corruption trial

March 13, 2018 06:18 PM

A federal jury convicted Joseph Percoco, a former top aide to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, on two counts of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, and one count of soliciting bribes, after deliberating over the span of three weeks in New York City.

"I am disappointed, but as Barry said, we're going to consider our options and move forward," said Percoco, shortly after the verdict.

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Percoco is accused of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes, in the form of a job for his wife, as well as cash.

His defense attorneys said the payments were fees for consulting work done while Percoco was out of state government.

"This cast a shadow on the governor and he has to take the lead to redeem himself and change things in Albany," said John Kahney of Reinvent Albany.

The trial offered a glimpse into how deals are made at the state capitol.

Good government groups were quick to call for real change.

"I hope it's going to be a positive," said Jennifer Wilson of the League of Women Voters.  "After the Silver and the Skelos cases, the only thing that really came out of that was pension forfeiture.  I hope it's not going to be like that again.  We really want to see some real reforms.  We want to close the LLC loopholes.  We want to end pay to play-to-culture in New York State."

"I think the issue really is going to be whether or not the governor and the legislature act to curb corruption at the state capitol.  That's what the public wants.  That's why you elect people to go to the capitol-- to solve problems," said NYPIRG's Blair Horner.  "That's their job."

Percoco was a longtime close friend of the governor, a former top aide, and managed his 2014 re-election campaign.

Governor Cuomo issued a statement that said, in part, "There is no higher calling than public service and integrity is paramount - principles that have guided my work during the last 40 years.

"The verdict demonstrated that these ideals have been violated by someone I knew for a long time.  That is personally painful;  however, we must learn from what happened and put additional safeguards in place to secure the public trust.  Anything less is unacceptable."



WNYT Staff

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