The jury deliberating over the fate of Joseph Percoco, the northern Westchester resident and former top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo remains deadlocked after more than a week of discussion.
Now in its eighth week, the jury is reporting growing increasingly frustrated, as they are unable to reach a consensus regarding Percoco, a South Salem resident who is on trial for allegedly accepting more than $300,000 in bribes to benefit Competitive Power Ventures, an energy company that sought to build the power plant in the Hudson Valley, and COR Development, a real estate developer that received several sizable state projects.
The bribes, which also included $90,000 a year payments to Percoco's wife, were arranged by Todd Howe, another former aide, infamous lobbyist, and close friend of Cuomo, according to court papers. Howe was grilled by the defense team for several days of the trial during cross-examination, leading to his arrest after he violated the terms of an agreement of his plea bargain.
“After considering the facts and the evidence with open minds, and using your instructions as a roadmap, we remain unable to reach a unanimous verdict," the 12-member panel wrote to United States District Judge Valerie Caproni on Monday morning.
Following several days of deliberation, an exasperated jury reached its breaking point last week, with several members asking to be dismissed for various reasons before receiving a snow day on Wednesday. The jurors have been deliberating since March 1. The trial began on Jan. 22, and was supposed to last between four and six weeks. A mistrial is possible if the jury remains deadlocked.
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