Ex-aide to New York Governor Cuomo found guilty of taking bribes

Ex-aide to New York Governor Cuomo found guilty of taking bribes

The three executives were on trial alongside Percoco. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison. Percoco's lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment.

"As every schoolchild knows. government officials who sell their influence to select insiders violate the basic tenets of a democracy". The government also alleged he accepted $35,000 in cash.

[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. Fellow upstate businessman Joseph Gerardi was cleared of three counts, and a mistrial was declared for energy executive Peter Galbraith Kelly.

At the height of his influence, Mr. Percoco, whom Mr. Cuomo had once described as his father's "third son", was known as the governor's enforcer, responsible for everything from keeping lawmakers in line and intimidating Mr. Cuomo's political rivals to making sure chairs and thermostats were in order for the governor's public appearances.

Cuomo, a Democrat, has not been accused of wrongdoing.

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. After the verdict, a message left with Cuomo's spokesman was not immediately returned.

Two former powerful leaders in the state, ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Democrat, and ex-Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, a Republican, are scheduled to be retried on corruption charges this year after early convictions were thrown out. The people of NY deserve better.

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.

Howe, who pleaded guilty to numerous crimes after cooperating with prosecutors, became a focus of the trial when he admitted violating his deal with prosecutors by improperly trying to recover the cost of a night at a luxury Manhattan hotel from a credit card company. The term was used in the HBO mob drama "The Sopranos".

None of the defendants testified.

Aiello, a top executive at Cor Development, was convicted of one felony count after paying Percoco $35,000 in exchange for favors including his help redeveloping Syracuse's Inner Harbor and obtaining a raise for Aiello's son, who worked for Cuomo.

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.

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