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Cuomo says he talked to prosecutors voluntarily in corruption case

Cuomo on Thursday in Albany.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he has spoken to federal prosecutors regarding the prosecution of his former top aide and eight others involved in an economic development scandal.

The governor said he’s met with federal prosecutors since former top aide Joe Percoco, a former lobbyist who was a close Cuomo associate, the head of SUNY Polytechnic and six others were charged with bribery, bid-rigging and other corruption charges in connection with the governor’s upstate economic development programs. Two executives of Syracuse-based COR Development were among those charged.

“I’ve talked to them about the case that they’ve brought,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo said he was not under oath during the conversations, and the talks focused on the prosecutors’ preparation for the case against Percoco and the others. He also would not rule out the possibility of being called to testify as a witness in the trials.

“I could be, but I haven’t envisioned it and no one has suggested that,” Cuomo said. “It’s up to each defendant to figure out how to put together their own defense and who to call.”

In a statement, Melissa DeRosa, the governor’s chief of staff, said:

“As part of our continuing cooperation, the governor voluntarily made himself available and shared his knowledge of facts potentially relevant to the case.”

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.