A Manhattan federal court jury convicted Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo's former top advisor Joseph Percoco on multiple corruption charges on Tuesday after its eighth day of deliberations.
Percoco, 48, was found guilty of "conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and solicitation of bribes," and was found not guilty of "extortion and conspiracy to commit extortion," The New York Times reported.
Percoco had served as the governor's deputy executive secretary from 2011 to 2014 and again in 2015 after taking a short break to run the governor's re-election campaign. Newsday reports:
The verdict followed five weeks of testimony on charges that Percoco, 48, of South Salem, got over $300,000 in bribes set up by lobbyist Todd Howe, the star government witness, from co-defendants Peter Galbraith Kelly, an energy executive, and Steve Aiello and Joe Gerardi, Syracuse developers.
Kelly allegedly had his company, Competitive Power Ventures, hire Percoco’s wife for a $90,000-a-year “low show” job to get help on a Hudson Valley power plant and a pollution-credit pact with New Jersey. The Syracuse men allegedly paid $35,000 for Percoco to help cut red tape on state-funded projects, and push a raise for Aiello’s son, who worked for Cuomo.
"Percoco sold out his vast power, he sold out his influence and he betrayed the people of New York," federal prosecutor David Zhou said.
Percoco faces up to 50 years in prison when he is sentenced on June 11.