U.S. Second Circuit - The FindLaw 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Ex-Aide for Gov. Cuomo Sentenced to Six Years in Prison

If a judge says your argument is "unmitigated poppycock," you and your client are in trouble.

And so it was for Joseph Percoco and his lawyers at his sentencing hearing. Judge Valerie Caproni was not persuaded by their argument; she gave him six years.

Percoco was a former aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Now he is a convicted felon with a history of poppycock.

"Unmitigated Poppycock"

At the sentencing hearing, Judge Valerie Caproni sent a message to the lawyers and to the state capital. Political corruption stops here.

Defense attorney Barry Bohrer tried to deflect the inevitable. He said that his client was treated like a "media character," and that he was not a public official.

"The notion that the executive deputy secretary of the state of New York is somehow not a high-level public official because he works behind the scenes and isn't elected is unmitigated poppycock," the judge snapped back.

The hearing dragged on, but it was basically over at that point. Percoco's lawyers are working on an appeal.

Political Corruption

The defendant was convicted of political corruption in March for accepting more than $300,000 from companies to use his influence with the Cuomo administration. Not even the governor came to his defense.

"Joe Percoco is paying the price for violating the public trust," Cuomo said after the hearing. "And it should serve as a warning to anyone who fails to uphold his or her oath as a public servant.

Cuomo, who denied any knowledge of his aide's wrongdoing, was not charged. Percoco reports to prison on Nov. 28.

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