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Percoco found guilty on corruption charges

Percoco found guilty on corruption charges”

A jury found Percoco guilty of two counts of conspiracy and solicitation of a bribe.

Manhattan federal Judge Valerie Caproni told the jury Tuesday, "Yes, you can return a verdict on some counts, but not all".

Prosecutors say Percoco accepted more than $300,000 in bribes from companies with business before the state, most in the form of a job for his wife.

Once one of Governor Andrew Cuomo's most trusted aides, Joe Percoco was convicted on three counts on Tuesday.

Steven Aiello and Joseph Gerardi, top executives at Syracuse-based Cor Development, were also accused of paying Percoco $35,000 through his wife for help with their redevelopment of Syracuse's Inner Harbor and obtaining a raise for Aiello's son, who worked for Cuomo.

Percoco was found not guilty of three other counts against him, conspiracy commit extortion, extortion and a bribery count. Gerardi was found not guilty of both charges.

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.

Percoco, 48, Cuomo's longtime confidante and the chairman of his 2014 re-election campaign, had pleaded not guilty.

Cuomo, a Democrat, has not been accused of wrongdoing.

Within minutes after the verdict was announced, good-government groups called on Cuomo and lawmakers to take action this year to strengthen oversight of government contracting and boost ethics enforcement.

Percoco was one of four defendants in the case. The term was used in the HBO mob drama "The Sopranos".

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. They also relentlessly attacked the credibility of Howe, who testified that creditors had to line up to get a piece of his paycheck after he repeatedly borrowed money and then refused to pay his bills, whether they were from a mortgage company or a dog walker.

"Who else would do such a sleazy job?"

Aiello and Girardi had been charged with playing Percoco $35,000 funneled through Todd Howe, the disgraced consultant who served as the prosecution's star witness.



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