The US Supreme Court has agreed to take on a corruption case against Joseph Percoco, who is a close friend and former aide of ex-New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo.
Percoco spearheaded Cuomo’s re-election campaign in 2014, however he was convicted of two counts of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud.
At that time, Percoco was the campaign manager for Cuomo. He was convicted of having accepted bribes from an energy company executive and two real estate developers. Percoco accepted in excess of $300,000 from companies who wanted Cuomo to use his influence to benefit them.
Percoco was sentenced to 6 years but was released after serving only 4 years, The New York Post reports.
In one of the schemes, Percoco promised to take care of the interests of an energy company, CPV. In the second scheme, Percoco agreed with Aiello to advance the interests of their real estate development company.
If the Supreme Court were to rule in favor of Percoco, prosecuting private citizens for corruption would be extremely difficult, whatever their influence over political figures.
“Generally speaking, bribery cases involve somebody paying a government official or giving something to a government official, right? Percoco wasn’t a government official at the time,” Percoco’s lawyer Yaakov Roth, told The New York Post.
“Does a private citizen who holds no elected office or government employment, but has informal political or other influence over governmental decision making, owe a fiduciary duty to the general public such that he can be convicted of honest-services fraud?” Percoco’s lawyer asked.
Andrew Cuomo said when he initially became governor in 2011 that his father would often refer to Percoco as a “third son.” Cuomo spoke out after Percoco was found guilty and said that his conviction was “a profoundly sad situation for me personally.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NEW YORK TIMES
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