Fmr. Cuomo Aide Joseph Percoco Found Guilty in Corruption Trial

Efrain Diaz Figueroa right walks by his sisters home destroyed in the passing of Hurricane Maria in San Juan Puerto Rico Monday Oct. 9 2017

Joseph Percoco, a former top aide to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, was found guilty Tuesday of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and solicitation of bribes, a rebuke of Albany's murky backroom dealings that were laid bare during the almost eight-week trial.

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.

He was convicted of two counts of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and one count of soliciting bribes. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

"I am disappointed, but as Barry says, we are going to consider our options and move forward", he said. They also alleged he accepted $35,000 in cash.

There was testimony about administration officials using private email addresses to conduct state business in secret, and about how Percoco continued to work out of a state office even after he was supposed to have left government to lead Cuomo's 2014 re-election campaign.

Cuomo, a Democrat who is up for reelection this year, has not been charged with wrongdoing.

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

Cuomo, in a statement, said he finds the verdict "personally painful" because he has known Percoco for a long time.

Good-government groups called on Cuomo and lawmakers to take action now to strengthen oversight of government contracting and boost ethics enforcement.

Kelly was charged with providing Percoco's wife, Lisa Toscano Percoco, with a $90,000-per-year job with a CPV educational program - a salary that, according to trial testimony, she performed little work for, and that was paid through an obscure Connecticut-based firm in order to hide her employment from public view. The people of NY deserve better.

The two top former legislative leaders face retrial on corruption charges, and officials involved in Cuomo's signature Buffalo Billion economic development program go to court in the spring. Howe, who pleaded guilty to numerous crimes after cooperating with prosecutors, was arrested again during the trial when he admitted violating his deal with prosecutors by trying to avoid paying a luxury hotel bill.

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. Percoco ordered a raise for Aiello's son Steve Aiello Junior, who was a lower level aide at the governor's office.

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