Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Former Cuomo Aide Percoco Guilty Of Corruption

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi Gov. Cuomo says states like New York are listening to the American people unlike Washington
Patty Aguilar | 13 March, 2018, 22:30

When the verdict was returned, jurors convicted Percoco on two charges of conspiracy to commit honest-services wire fraud, and one charge for solicitation of bribes.

"To no one's surprise, the governor's former top aide and close friend Joe Percoco was found guilty this afternoon of several federal corruption charges".

Percoco, once described by the governor as his father Mario's "third son", faces up to 50 years in prison at his sentencing, which is set for June 11. The other two defendants, Cor Development executives Steven Aiello and Joseph Gerardi, were separately accused of paying Percoco $35,000 in bribes. A second executive with the company, Joseph Gerardi, was acquitted on all counts.

However, in a surprise twist, he was acquitted of conspiracy to commit extortion, extortion, and one of the two bribery counts. The jury said it couldn't reach a unanimous decision on a fourth defendant in the case, energy company executive Peter Galbraith Kelly.

Caproni declared a mistrial on those counts. In closing arguments, Assistant U.S. Attorney David Zhou did not apologize for Howe.

Speaking outside the courthouse following the verdict, Percoco's lawyer, Barry Bohrer, said there was "inconsistency in the verdict" and said he would explore appeal options.

"I am disappointed, but as Barry says, we are going to consider our options and move forward", he said.

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"Percoco sold out his vast power, he sold out his influence and he betrayed the people of NY", a prosecutor, David Zhou, said in his closing arguments.

"As every schoolchild knows. government officials who sell their influence to select insiders violate the basic tenets of a democracy". The Syracuse men allegedly paid $35,000 for Percoco to help cut red tape on state-funded projects, and push a raise for Aiello's son, who worked for Cuomo.

The prosecution also showed how Percoco continued to use his state office and flex his muscle even after he'd supposedly resigned in 2014 to work on the governor's campaign full-time.

On Tuesday, Cuomo addressed a Planned Parenthood rally near the state Capitol in Albany but left without taking questions from reporters.

The three executives were on trial alongside Percoco.

His reliability was further wounded when his bail was revoked and he was jailed in the middle of his testimony, after appearing to admit on the witness stand to a previously unknown effort to defraud his credit card company. One of the schemes involved a job for Percoco's wife created by a power plant company that had business before the state, where she did little work.

The case highlighted Percoco's use of the word "ziti" in emails with Howe, a term borrowed from The Sopranos.

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