A federal judge has sentenced Joseph Percoco, a former assistant and friend of the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, to six years in prison after being found guilty on three out of his six counts of corruption.
“I hope that this sentence will be heard in Albany,” seat of the state government, said Judge Valerie E. Caproni in imposing the sentence. A jury found guilty last March to Percoco, 48, who worked for Cuomo from 2012 until mid-2014, of fraud, conspiracy and request for bribery, after eight days of deliberations.
“Percoco was a powerful official who sold his influence and his position in exchange for more than $ 300,000 in bribes, and his sentence sends a strong message that public officials who violate their responsibilities to serve the citizens faithfully will be responsible for their corrupt actions.” said federal prosecutor Geoffrey S. Berman in a statement. The now convicted was arrested in 2016 along with seven others and accused of soliciting and accepting bribes for $ 315,000 from electric power and development companies that wanted to be part of a governor’s plan to revitalize the northern state’s economy, which Percoco supervised.
Cuomo said that “the rule of law is fundamental” and that Percoco “is paying the price” for violating the confidence of citizens. “On a personal level, the human tragedy for the children of Joe and his family is a very unfortunate consequence,” he said.