Former aide to Gov. Cuomo, COR exec convicted in bribery case

FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2018, file photo, Joseph Percoco arrives at Federal Court, in New York. Jurors in the bribery trial of Percoco, a former top aide to Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, may begin deliberations as early as next week. The government rested its case Thursday, Feb. 22, in federal court in Manhattan against Joseph Percoco and three businessmen. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

NEW YORK (AP) -- A former top-aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been convicted of accepting bribes.

A jury delivered a verdict Tuesday in the trial of Joseph Percoco after deliberating for parts of three weeks.

It convicted Percoco on two counts of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and one count of soliciting bribes.

WNBC in New York reports the jury also convicted COR Development executive Stephen Aiello of bribery. A second executive from the Syracuse-area company, Joseph Girardi, was found not guilty on all counts.

Joseph Percoco spoke briefly outside court Tuesday after the Manhattan jury delivered its verdict. Percoco said he's disappointed about his bribery conviction but will "move forward" as he and his lawyers weigh their options. Defense attorney Barry Bohrer says they're considering an appeal.

Percoco thanked his family, friends and legal team for standing by him.

Jurors informed the court twice that they were deadlocked in the case against Percoco and three businessmen accused of bribing him.

U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni told the jury to keep deliberating.

Percoco was a longtime friend of the governor and the manager of his 2014 re-election campaign. In a statement Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Cuomo said:

The jury has reached a verdict and I respect that decision. While I am sad for Joe Percoco's young daughters who will have to deal with this pain, I echo the message of the verdict - there is no tolerance for any violation of the public trust.

There is no higher calling than public service and integrity is paramount - principles that have guided my work during the last 40 years.

The verdict demonstrated that these ideals have been violated by someone I knew for a long time. That is personally painful; however, we must learn from what happened and put additional safeguards in place to secure the public trust. Anything less is unacceptable.
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