September 20, 2018 04:51 PM
A former top aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been sentenced to six years in prison for fraud and accepting bribes.
Joseph Percoco was sentenced Thursday by a federal judge in New York City. U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni said she hoped the sentence would be heard in the state capital.
Percoco was convicted in March of accepting more than $300,000 from companies that wanted influence with the Cuomo administration.
The governor wasn't charged in the case and denied any knowledge of Percoco's influence peddling. However, trial testimony presented an unflattering picture of the inner workings of his office.
Percoco's conviction also gave ammunition to Cuomo's opponents in this year's election.
They say it proves the two-term Democrat hasn't done enough to address chronic corruption in state government.
Gov. Cuomo released the following statement regarding the sentencing of his former top aide:
"I was an Assistant District Attorney and Attorney General, and the rule of law is paramount. Joe Percoco is paying the price for violating the public trust. And it should serve as a warning to anyone who fails to uphold his or her oath as a public servant. On a personal level, the human tragedy for Joe's young children and family is a very sad consequence."
Moments following the criminal sentencing, GOP gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro released the following statement:
"Andrew Cuomo was sentenced today — he just doesn’t have to do the time. He came into office promising reform and ended up turning New York State government into a corrupt, taxpayer-paid enterprise that works only to further his presidential ambitions.
“In the coming weeks other top Cuomo lieutenants and donors within the Cuomo Machine will be sentenced to jail time, while Mr. Cuomo skates free, unscathed and un-investigated. Two attorneys general have been too afraid to investigate his alleged illegalities. The Manhattan District Attorney is afraid. Mr. Cuomo’s ethics commission, JCOPE, is, indeed, a joke, and no one will investigate his constant election law violations.
“That leaves it up to the People of New York to act. Only they can prove Teddy Roosevelt’s adage true, that ‘no man is above the law.’ Only the people of this great state can take a stand to stop the corrupt enterprise that is the Cuomo Administration.
“I remind those New Yorkers of one thing today: We don’t have to live this way. The Cuomo Corruption Tax that costs taxpayers billions and that wastes billions more on corporate pay-to-play giveaways is optional. We can opt out of it by retiring Governor Cuomo in November. We can do better as a state. That is what I am offering, today and for the next four years.”
Updated: September 20, 2018 04:51 PM
Created: September 20, 2018 04:16 PM
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