Joseph Percoco, Ex-Cuomo Aide, Found Guilty in Corruption Trial


And though Cuomo wasn't charged with any wrongdoing, the trial did nothing to allay lingering suspicions that the governor condoned and even encouraged that shameful status quo.

The news comes as Cuomo is running for reelection for a third term and is rumored to be mulling a bid for president in 2020.

With Andrew Cuomo, Percoco has been a political mainstay. "And on the other hand, it's just another one in a very, very long line of Albany convictions over the years that just continue to pile up people's cynicism and lack of confidence in Albany as a whole".

Percoco served as the governor's deputy executive secretary from 2011 to 2014, and again in 2015 after a break to run his re-election campaign.

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To the growing annals of NY corruption trial history, enter Tuesday, March 13: the day a long-deliberating jury found Joseph Percoco guilty of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and solicitation of bribes (he was also found not guilty of other charges). Jurors who deliberated off and on for three weeks acquitted Percoco of extortion and one of the bribery charges he had faced.

Other recent major corruption convictions - of former State Senate majority leader Dean Skelos and former State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver - were overturned a year ago. "There is no higher calling than public service and integrity is paramount - principles that have guided my work during the last 40 years". He also vowed to pursue ethics reform in the next legislative session. Some acknowledged that any corruption conviction erodes public trust. In a statement on Tuesday the governor said that the verdict was "personally painful".

"Who else would do such a sleazy job?"

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The trial put a harsh spotlight on the attempts of several companies to gain influence with the Cuomo administration. Cuomo's hinted-at national ambitions mean the scrutiny could continue. Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R-Canandaigua) said the governor frequently points out corrupt legislators, but now "has a lot of questions to answer" himself.

"Why it's ok for the head of the campaign to be working as a volunteer as it were out of the governor's office and influencing important state decisions is a matter of great concern to watchdog groups like ours", John Kahney of Reinvent Albany said.

Mr. Howe, who had pleaded guilty to eight felonies and was cooperating with prosecutors, described how Mr. Percoco helped the Syracuse company evade a costly union requirement on a development, and wrangled a pay raise for Mr. Aiello's son, who worked in state government.

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