Former aide to Gov. Cuomo convicted in bribery case

NEW YORK (AP) — A former top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo was convicted on corruption charges today at a trial that further exposed the state capital's culture of backroom deal-making.

A federal jury in Manhattan found Joseph Percoco guilty of two counts of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and one count of soliciting bribes after deliberating for parts of three weeks. He could face time in prison.

Jurors had informed the court twice that they were deadlocked in the case against Percoco and three businessmen accused of paying his family more than $300,000 in bribes, but U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni asked them to keep deliberating and on Tuesday said she would accept a partial verdict.

Percoco was acquitted of two extortion counts and one of the bribery charges he had faced.

The jury also convicted one of the businessmen charged with paying the bribes, Steven Aiello, an executive at a Syracuse area development company, Cor Development. A second executive with the company, Joseph Gerardi, was acquitted on all counts. The jury said it couldn't reach a unanimous decision on a fourth defendant in the case, energy company executive Peter Galbraith Kelly.

The verdict followed a multiweek trial that put a spotlight on the attempts of several private companies to gain influence with Cuomo, a Democrat who once likened Percoco to a brother.

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