Fox News reported that Joseph Percoco, a former top aide to New York’s Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, was just found guilty today on major corruption charges in a case that has exposed the corruption in the state’s Democrat leadership. He was convicted of two counts of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and one count of soliciting bribes after deliberating for parts of three weeks.
“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,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey 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. We will continue relentlessly to bring to justice those public officials who violate their oaths by engaging in this especially offensive misconduct.”
Percoco was also acquitted of two extortion counts and one of the bribery charges that he was facing. Jurors had said they were deadlocked twice, but U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni told them to keep deliberating and finally accepted a partial verdict today.
The trial had exposed many attempts of several private companies to gain influence with Cuomo, a Democrat who once likened Percoco to a brother. Cuomo himself was not specifically accused of wrongdoing in the case.
Prosecutors had argued that Percoco’s communications with former close friend Todd Howe, a lobbyist, shows he participated in a bribery conspiracy. Howe plead guilty to numerous charges as part of a deal with prosecutors.
This is just the latest in a long line of Democratic leaders being exposed as corrupt individuals who believe themselves to be above the law. What do you think about this? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.