Ex-Aide to New York Gov. Cuomo Convicted of Corruption

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When the verdict was returned, jurors convicted Percoco on two honest-services-fraud charges and one solicitation-of-bribes-and-gratuity charge.

In closing arguments, Assistant U.S. Attorney David Zhou did not apologize for Howe.

Speaking outside the courthouse following the verdict, Percoco's lawyer, Barry Bohrer, said there was "inconsistency in the verdict" and said he would explore appeal options.

Much of the government's narrative of the bribery schemes revolved around Todd R. Howe, a disgraced former lobbyist and longtime Albany insider, who prosecutors said engineered the bribes from the executives - Peter Galbraith Kelly Jr., who worked for a Maryland-based power company, and Steven Aiello and Joseph Gerardi, of a Syracuse-area development company - to Percoco.

"There was no charge against him but obviously it's going to have some negative impact because it occurred on his watch and by somebody extremely close to the governor and the [Cuomo] family", said Doug Muzzio, a Baruch College political scientist.

Governor Cuomo was accused of no wrongdoing but he loomed large over the trial, with several current and former Cuomo officials called to testify. This latter charge could create more legal headaches for both Percoco (and Cuomo) on grounds that he still had access to state offices - and probably influence - when he should not have had either.

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There were plenty of juicy tidbits from weeks of testimony, including Percoco's habit of using the word "ziti" to heavily suggest monetary payments a la mob drama "The Sopranos".

Defense lawyers had said the payments Percoco and his wife received were legitimate fees for consulting work performed at a time when he was out of state government.

Cuomo, who is regarded as a contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, said he respects the jury's decision.

"The verdict demonstrated that these ideals have been violated by someone I knew for a long time", he said.

The jury had difficulty coming to an agreement on all ten charges against Percoco, perhaps the highest profile defendant in the federal indictments of New York State officials and contractors doing business with the state. "That is personally painful; however, we must learn from what happened and put additional safeguards in place to secure the public trust".

The almost six-week trial took an unexpected turn in early February when the prosecutors' star witness, former Cuomo aide Todd Howe, was arrested after admitting on the witness stand that he had violated his cooperation agreement. Republicans had seized upon the trial as evidence of a seamy Albany culture that they claimed the governor, a Democrat, had condoned and even encouraged.

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