Federal prosecutors are withholding “crucial” evidence” in the case against northern Westchester resident Joseph Percoco, a former top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo who is facing federal corruption charges, according to reports.
Percoco is facing federal charges after allegedly threatening at least four New York State employees on multiple occasions while working on the governor’s campaign. According to the Times Union report, Percoco’s defense team only recently received exculpatory evidence which “harmed (their) ability to prepare for trial.”
In a letter filed in court earlier this month , prosecutors claimed that at “on at least three occasions, between 2011 and 2016, while employed as the Executive Deputy Secretary to the Governor, and on at least two occasions during his employment by the Cuomo Campaign, Percoco threatened at least four New York State employees who were considering leaving their current jobs or state service entirely, by claiming that Percoco would use his extensive influence in New York State to prevent them from finding future employment.”
Earlier this year, Percoco ,a South Salem resident, was indicted on corruption charges that allege he accepted more than $300,000 in bribes to benefit Competitive Power Ventures, an energy company that sought to build a power plant in the Hudson Valley, and COR Development, a real estate developer that received several sizable state projects.
The bribes from both, which also included $90,000 a year payments to Percoco's wife, were arranged by Todd Howe, another former aide and close friend of Cuomo's, the complaint said.
In the letter, it is further alleged that Percoco received approximately $27,000 from Clough Harbor and Associates, a client of Howe and significant donor to Cuomo, in exchange for setting up meetings, sending emails and taking other actions on behalf of the company. Percoco left state government in January 2016.
According to the report, Percoco's defense team says that Percoco had no intention of returning to state government, and that he was on leave when he took the alleged actions that led to the corruption charges.
Percoco is scheduled to go to trial in January next year. Executives from COR Development and Competitive Power Ventures have also been named as defendants. Each has pleaded not guilty to the corruption and bribery charges.
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