As previously reported by Albany Update, the ongoing federal corruption trial of former Cuomo right-hand man Joe Percoco has pulled back the curtain on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s inner circle.
Evidence presented at trial revealed that Percoco left his state position for eight months in 2014 to help run the Governor’s re-election campaign. However, according to Syracuse.com, Percoco continued to work out of his former workstation at the Governor’s New York City office during this time; in fact, a total of 837 phone calls were made from Percoco’s workstation during the period when he was not working for the state.
Syracuse.com states that “[a] section of New York’s public officers law prohibits state employees from using ‘the property, services or other resources of the state for private business.’ According to a 1993 opinion from the New York State Ethics Commission, that means that election campaigns must not utilize state resources.” The Commission has also written that “‘[no] state resources of any type, including telephones, office supplies, postage, photocopying machines or support staff assistance, can be used in the furtherance of [a] campaign.’”
In light of this evidence, State Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco has called for a special prosecutor to examine Percoco’s history of working out of the Governor’s office while being off of the state payroll.
In related news: At this writing, the jurors in the Percoco trial are deadlocked and cannot reach a verdict.
UPDATE: The Buffalo News reports that on March 13, 2018 Joe Percoco was found guilty of “three felony counts for his role in a bribery scheme in which corporate interests got special attention before Cuomo’s administration in return for more a steady flow of bribe money paid into Percoco’s personal bank account.”