Ex-aide to N.Y. governor guilty of fraud
NEW YORK — Jurors convicted a former top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo on federal bribery and fraud charges Tuesday in a trial that prosecutors said exposed the state capital’s culture of backroom deal-making.
Joseph Percoco, who was once likened to a brother by the Democratic governor, faces up to 20 years in prison for his conviction on conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and soliciting bribes. Jurors who deliberated off and on for three weeks acquitted Percoco of extortion and one of the bribery charges he had faced.
The jury also convicted one of the businessmen charged with paying the bribes, Steven Aiello, an executive at a Syracuse-area development company, Cor Development. A second executive with the company, Joseph Gerardi, was acquitted.
The jury deadlocked and a mistrial was declared in the case of a fourth defendant, energy company executive Peter Galbraith Kelly. The U.S. attorney’s office didn’t immediately say whether it would seek a retrial.
Prosecutors said Percoco and his family accepted more than $300,000 in bribes, including a $90,000-a-year job for Percoco’s wife, to clear hurdles with the state to build power plants.
Joseph Percoco (right), a former top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, faces reporters’ questions Tuesday outside federal court in New York.