NEW YORK – A former aide so near New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo that he thought-about him like a brother was sentenced to 6 years in jail Thursday for fraud and accepting bribes. The decide stated she hopes the punishment “might be heard in Albany.”
U.S. District Choose Valerie E. Caproni tried to place the sentencing of Joseph Percoco in perspective, noting different current high-profile convictions of state leaders.
She stated these looking for the modest salaries of presidency jobs shouldn’t search to complement their incomes by accepting bribes.
“In the event you achieve this, this courtroom will present you no mercy,” she stated.
Percoco, 49, was convicted in March of accepting greater than $300,000 from firms that needed to achieve affect with the Cuomo administration.
The conviction was an election-year embarrassment for Cuomo. His opponents say it proves the two-term Democrat hasn’t finished sufficient to deal with continual corruption in state authorities, even inside his personal administration.
Prosecutors had requested Caproni to condemn Percoco to nicely over 5 years in jail. His legal professionals stated he ought to get not more than two years.
Cuomo wasn’t accused of wrongdoing, however testimony introduced an unflattering image of the internal workings of his workplace.
In an announcement after the sentence was introduced, Cuomo stated: “Joe Percoco is paying the worth for violating the general public belief. And it ought to function a warning to anybody who didn’t uphold his or her oath as a public servant. On a private degree, the human tragedy for Joe’s younger youngsters and household is a really unhappy consequence.”
In a courtroom submitting, Percoco’s legal professionals wrote that his punishment has already begun.
“The trial — which performed out on the pages of nearly each newspaper and media outlet in New York — has all however destroyed Joe’s life. Joe faces impending chapter and a considerable time period of incarceration,” they wrote.
In courtroom, Percoco instructed Caproni he needed to “categorical how sorry I’m for my actions.”
Exterior courtroom, Percoco declined to remark, strolling away as he was requested if he had regret.
His lawyer, Barry Bohrer, stated exterior courtroom that it was a “tough day in courtroom.” He vowed to attraction.
“We had hoped for higher. Clearly it’s not the sentence we requested but it surely wasn’t the sentence the federal government requested both. Mr. Percoco is a person of energy and a person of religion. He has religion within the system and we’re hopeful that our attraction might be profitable,” Bohrer stated.
Prosecutors in pretrial submissions had known as on Caproni to ship a message to state officers.
“Because the Court docket is conscious, and all too sadly, Percoco’s trial uncovered wrongdoing at excessive ranges of state authorities that’s hardly aberrant. Latest prosecutions and trials on this district have laid naked the ugly fact that, too typically, political energy and accountability in New York results in political corruption,” they wrote.
After the sentence was introduced, U.S. Legal professional Geoffrey S. Berman stated in an announcement that the punishment “sends a powerful message that public officers who violate their duties to faithfully serve the residents of New York might be held accountable for his or her corrupt actions.”
Through the state’s Democratic major contest, Cuomo’s opponent, Cynthia Nixon, dismissed the governor’s rationalization that he did not learn about Percoco’s misdeeds.
“We now have both incompetence or corruption,” she stated. “Which is it?”
The scandal did not considerably harm Cuomo with Democrats. He received in a landslide. However his Republican opponent within the basic election, Dutchess County Government Marc Molinaro, has picked up the cudgel, asking police to research Percoco’s use of a state workplace and phone whereas he was main Cuomo’s 2014 re-election bid.
Percoco performs a giant position in Molinaro’s “Cuomo Corruption Tour,” a collection of marketing campaign occasions that he launched final week.