A judge convicted a former top aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on three felony corruption charges Tuesday.
The judge found Joseph Percoco, 48, guilty of two counts of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud for taking part in two pay-to-play schemes where he made more than $300,000 off of executives of two different companies and one count of soliciting bribes, the New York Post reported.
Authorities say that Percoco orchestrated his pay-to-play corruption scheme with contractors doing business with, or looking to do business with, the state.
After jurors deliberated on and off for three weeks, they acquitted Percoco of two counts of extortion and one count of bribery.
“As every schoolchild knows, but he corruptly chose to disregard, government officials who sell their influence to select insiders violate the basic tenets of a democracy,” interim Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement.
“We will continue relentlessly to bring to justice those public officials who violate their oaths by engaging in this especially offensive misconduct,” he added.
Gov. Cuomo released a statement shortly after the conviction stating that he respect’s the jury’s decision.
“While I am sad for Joe Percoco’s young daughters who will have to deal with this pain, I echo the message of the verdict – there is no tolerance for any violation of the public trust,” Cuomo said. “There is no higher calling than public service and integrity is paramount – principles that have guided my work during the last 40 years.
The corruption trial caused Cuomo’s popularity rating in New York State to plunge between January and February.
Percoco faces up to 50 years behind bars at his sentencing, which is scheduled for June 11.