Former Cuomo top aide found guilty on 3 counts


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. The jury found him not guilty on three other charges.

On Tuesday, he was found not guilty of extortion and conspiracy to commit extortion, and he was convicted of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, and solicitation of bribes and gratuities. COR official Joseph Gerardi was found not guilty on any of the charges.

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.

One of the schemes involved a job for Percoco's wife, where she did little work.

Even before the verdicts were announced, good government groups were using the revelations from the trial to press for ethics reforms that have so far eluded Cuomo, who was elected governor in 2010 on a promise to renew trust in state government. Jurors who deliberated off and on for three weeks acquitted Percoco of two extortion counts and one of the bribery charges he had faced.

The jury deadlocked and a mistrial was declared in the case of a fourth defendant, energy company executive Peter Galbraith Kelly.

The governor had once described Percoco as his father's "third son".

According to multiple reports from the Manhattan courtroom, Caproni told the jurors that they could reach a verdict on some of the 10 counts in the case and keep deliberating on others, or return a verdict on some of the counts and remain deadlocked on others.

Percoco was a longtime friend of the governor and the manager of his 2014 re-election campaign.

Cuomo's political opponents seized on the verdict.

"The suggestion that he knew nothing about it when everybody, everybody understands that he is a micromanager of the first degree", said DeFrancisco.

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

"By any definition, Albany has a corruption problem", Horner said.

He will be sentenced on June 11. 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. Kaloyeros, the former president of the State University's Polytechnic Institute, faces charges involving bid-rigging in "Buffalo Billion", Cuomo's signature upstate economic development project. He faces up to 20 years in prison.