Following several days of deliberation, a jury remains deadlocked as the trial of Northern Westchester resident Joseph Percoco, a former top aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, continues.
Last 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 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.
According to reports, on Monday, the jury requested several items that included testimony, invoices and other evidence, as they continue to deliberate.
On the stand last month, Howe claimed that Percoco was a wannabe gangster and called the money he received in the “pay-to-play” scheme “ziti,” stating it was a reference to “The Soprano’s,” according to a New York Post report. According to the report, before Howe took the stand, prosecutors unsuccessfully attempted to play a clip from the popular HBO show before he testified.
The defense team repeatedly attacked Howe’s credibility during cross-examination, showcasing how the lobbyist embezzled money, lost a near million dollar home for failing to make mortgage payments and has led schemes to defraud friends, co-workers, employees and family members during the past two decades.
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