Jury Convicts Ex-Cuomo Aide In Mishmash Corruption Verdict


A federal jury found Governor Andrew Cuomo's former top aide Joe Percoco guilty on three counts of bribery and conspiracy to commit honest service fraud, in a Manhattan court room on Tuesday. "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. Still, Percoco was convicted of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and solicitation of bribes and gratuities.

Steve Aiello and Joseph Gerardi, two of Percoco's co-defendants, were acquitted on nearly all counts, but Aiello was convicted of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud.

Caproni declared a mistrial on those counts.

That included a $90,000-a-year job for his wife Lisa that involved minimal work.

Much of the government's narrative of the bribery schemes revolved around Todd R. Howe, a disgraced former lobbyist and longtime Albany insider, who prosecutors said engineered the bribes from the executives - Peter Galbraith Kelly Jr., who worked for a Maryland-based power company, and Steven Aiello and Joseph Gerardi, of a Syracuse-area development company - to Percoco. The verdict followed a multi-week trial that put a spotlight on the attempts of several private companies to gain influence with Cuomo, a Democrat who once likened Percoco to a brother. The governor and his campaign have refused to respond to reporters' questions emerging from the trial, including queries about Percoco's apparently open use of his Executive Chamber office during an eight-month period in 2014 when he had ostensibly resigned from his official post to run Cuomo's first re-election campaign.

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Cuomo was not charged with any crimes by the federal prosecutor or implicated in Percoco's deeds. After the verdict, a message left with Cuomo's spokesman was not immediately returned. But he says he respects the jury's decision, and agrees that there is "no tolerance for any violation of the public trust".

Jurors had asked in a note whether they could reach a unanimous verdict on some counts, but not others, after twice saying that they were deadlocked.

"By any definition, Albany has a corruption problem", Horner said. At one point, the key prosecution witness, a long-time lobbyist and supposed bribe-intermediary named Todd Howe, was arrested for credit card fraud, almost blowing up the whole case against Percoco.

Percoco faces a prison term of up to 50 years.

[I] n June, another former Cuomo ally, Alain E. Kaloyeros, will stand trial in a case that may cast further unflattering light on the governor's administration.