Under Cuomo’s watch: Blind to his best friend’s allleged crimes

Under Cuomo’s watch: Blind to his best friend's allleged crimes




The sordid story of Joe Percoco as informed by federal prosecutors and their star witness reads like a script for a bingeworthy TV sequence on the perils of dwelling lightyears past one’s means, setting off outrageous schemes to usher in money — “ziti,” to make use of dialogue the defendant stole from “The Sopranos.”

The newest plot twist has the primary witness for the prosecution, Todd Howe, in a jail cell for violating the phrases of his cooperation settlement after he admitted (on the stand!) that he’d concocted a scheme to steal an evening on the Waldorf-Astoria.

However there isn’t a writing across the coronary heart of the story as prosecutors compellingly inform it: Percoco made his cash, greater than $300,000 of it, by promoting to firm executives angling for profitable New York State enterprise the expectation of privileged entry to Gov. Cuomo — his rapid boss and a confidante so lengthy and so shut that the governor has known as his former aide, who additionally served Gov. Mario Cuomo, “my father’s third son.”

He’s stated to have exchanged money for favors, with an power firm known as Aggressive Energy Ventures and a developer known as COR, whereas serving because the governor’s private gatekeeper after which phased into his 2014 reelection marketing campaign.

For Percoco to perpetrate the alleged crimes, completely shiny businessmen — a few of them additionally underneath indictment — needed to consider that for the precise worth paid to the piper, the door to the governor’s workplace swung broad open.

The facility firm is alleged to have arrange Percoco’s unemployed spouse with a gradual job, whereas additionally looking for actions from state businesses.

The developer, testified Howe — who a long time in the past introduced Percoco into the Cuomo household orbit — lured within the governor with a fundraiser centered on a tour of an govt’s classic Corvette assortment, netting the marketing campaign $125,000 disguised as smaller donations from 5 entities. They threw Percoco a smaller sum on the aspect.

Fortunate guys: The state financial improvement company subsequently heeded their plea to reverse a expensive choice that might have elevated a undertaking’s labor prices. Percoco even helpfully sought a increase, prosecutors cost, for the son of the corporate president who labored within the governor’s workplace. Finished.

Percoco and the businessmen are those on trial right here — however it’s Cuomo whose workplace was a sitting duck for bare influence-peddling, transacted partly within the foreign money of marketing campaign donations.

Oh, and in 2014, when Percoco continued the shenanigans whereas managing Cuomo’s reelection marketing campaign — a job not on the general public payroll — he was out and in of his outdated official gubernatorial places of work in Manhattan. Between Might and December of that yr, 837 calls had been made on his cellphone line. In line with state information, on greater than 50 events, Cuomo was there on the identical day.

Cuomo says a trusted good friend abused private and public belief. Take him at his phrase. Given the brazen nature of Percoco’s misdeeds, the governor remains to be responsible of maximum blindness.