Former Cuomo Top Aid Bribed To Do Business in Hudson Valley
One of Gov. Cuomo's former top aides was found guilty of public corruption which included accepting bribes from a company that worked in the Hudson Valley.
On Tuesday, 47-year-old Joseph Percoco, the former Executive Deputy Secretary to the Governor of the State of New York, was convicted for soliciting and accepting more than $315,000 in bribes in return for taking official state action to benefit energy company Competitive Power Ventures and Syracuse-based real estate developer COR Development after an eight-week trial.
"Joseph Percoco was found guilty of taking over $300,000 in cash bribes by selling something priceless that was not his to sell – the sacred obligation to honestly and faithfully serve the citizens of New York," U.S. Attorney Geoff Berman said. "As every schoolchild knows, but he corruptly chose to disregard, government officials who sell their influence to select insiders violate the basic tenets of a democracy."
Percoco abused his high-ranking position by seeking and accepting bribe payments from companies that were seeking benefits and business in New York State, officials say.
"The jury has reached a verdict and I respect that decision. While I am sad for Joe Percoco's young daughters who will have to deal with this pain, I echo the message of the verdict - there is no tolerance for any violation of the public trust," Gov. Cuomo said in a statement.
One of the companies he received bribes from was Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) which did business in the Hudson Valley.
The company is working on the CPV Valley Energy Center, which according to the companies website is a 680 megawatt natural gas-fueled combined-cycle electric generation facility currently under construction in Wawayanda.
“The State should revoke any and all permits granted to CPV (Competitive Power Ventures),” Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus said. “You cannot act illegally in the permit approval process and then keep the permits. When the arrests happened, I called upon the State to review all of the permits that were issued. Now that a conviction has been handed down, State officials must do more. They should introduce and pass legislation creating a presumption of invalidity for any project in which criminal conduct by public officials occurred and for which permits were issued.”
According to the evidence introduced at trial bribes from CPV to Percoco included:
- Expensive meals
- A Hamptons fishing trip
- A $90,000 per year job for Percoco's wife for little work
Percoco faces a maximum of 20-years in prison on some of the counts and a maximum of ten-years on others.
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