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Former Cuomo top aide found guilty on 3 counts

Karen DeWitt
WRVO News (file photo)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s former top aide Joe Percoco has been found guilty on three counts of bribery and conspiracy to commit honest service fraud by a federal jury in Manhattan today.

Percoco, Cuomo’s former closest aide who has been described as being like a “brother” to the governor, was found guilty of participating in two bribery schemes where he netted $300,000. One of the schemes involved a job for Percoco’s wife created by a power plant company that had business before the state, where she did little work. The other scheme involved Syracuse-based Cor Development, where Percoco received $35,000 in payments in exchange for helping the company beat back a labor agreement and gain back money owed to them by the state.

Two of Percoco’s three co-defendants in the trial were not convicted on any of the charges. The jury found COR Development official Steve Aiello guilty on one count of bribery, but his business partner Joseph Girardi was found not guilty on any of the charges.

The jury which had deliberated for over a week, deadlocked on whether the power plant company official, Competitive Power Venture’s Peter Galbraith Kelly, committed any crimes.

Percoco will be sentenced on June 11. He faces up to 20 years in prison.  

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.