Former Cuomo Aide Guilty, Will This Hurt Cuomo's Chances of Re-Election?

Cuomo seeks re-election in 2018

Tom Puckett
March 14, 2018 - 4:00 am
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Buffalo, NY (WBEN) A former top aide to Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he's disappointed about his bribery conviction but will "move forward" as he and his lawyers weigh their options.

Joseph Percoco spoke briefly outside court Tuesday after a Manhattan jury delivered its verdict. Defense attorney Barry Bohrer says they're considering an appeal. "It was a difficult time and place to be trying a case involving Albany politics. We think it was a much closer case than some were led to believe, and the jury's verdict is a reflection of that," says Bohrer. "We are trying to figure what logic or consistency there is in the verdict." 

The jury convicted Percoco of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and soliciting bribes. Percoco thanked his family, friends and legal team for standing by him.

Joseph Percoco and attorney Barry Bohrer React to Guilty Verdict

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the conviction of his former top aide is "personally painful" but he respects the jury's decision.  The Democratic governor says integrity in public service was violated by someone he has known for a long time. Cuomo says he's sad for Percoco's young daughters "who will have to deal with this pain. But he says there is "no tolerance for any violation of the public trust."

Canisius College Political Science Professor Kevin Hardwick says it will take more to derail Cuomo's re-election chances. "I think there's got to be more. There could be more, this could part of a bigger narrative. We have the Buffalo Billion case that could go around the governor's neck," says Hardwick. 

He says those who already hold their nose when thinking about Albany politics will consider this par for the course. "Most New Yorkers have a dim view to begin with, and this is a confirmation of a pay to play culture that permeates Albany," adds Hardwick.

Kevin Hardwick, Canisius College, on Percoco Verdict

Hardwick says ethics reforms have been passed in recent years, but it's difficult to legislate ethics. 

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