BY KATHY KAHN
Some call it money—in Albany, Joseph Percoco and his cronies called it “ziti.”
After eight weeks of both trial and jury deliberation, Joseph Percoco, referred to as a “third son” by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s father, former Governor Mario Cuomo, has been found guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and solicitation of bribes, which includes pocketing over $300,000 worth of “ziti” and creating a $90,000 “no show” job for his wife.
The trial was an ugly look at the behind-the-door deal making in the state capital’s operations, and has been become a painful thorn in Cuomo’s side, particularly in an election year, and his fading hopes for a presidential bid in 2020. Cuomo has already “lost” former House Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, two of Cuomo’s “three men in a room” cronies.
Percoco accepted over $300,000 in bribes to two contractors dealing with the state, one being Competitive Power Ventures, which has recently completed its $700 million 630-megawatt plant of Route 6 in the Town of Wawayanda, and is currently firing up the plant to go online. CPV’s purpose is to replace the power now generated by Indian Point, scheduled to close by 2020.
Along with other pricy perks that benefitted Cuomo’s right-hand man, Percoco’s wife had a $90,000 “no show” salaried position at the Wawayanda job site. The jury was deadlocked several times, but finally concluded its business after U.S. District Court Judge Valerie Caproni called upon jurors, who have been hearing the case since late January 2018, to come back after last week’s nor’easter and resume deliberations. After the verdict was announced in White Plains on Tuesday, March 13, Percoco says he will appeal.