JOE PERCOCO “IN AND OUT” OF EXECUTIVE CHAMBER OFFICE HE RETAINED WHILE GONE FROM STATE SERVICE, “ASSISTED” ON GOVERNMENTAL MATTERS
Chief of Staff to the Governor Keeping a Scorecard on Donations and Monitoring Contract Awards of “Independent” Authorities
Testimony Raises Further Serious Legislative Ethics Breaches
Cuomo Not Only Knew, but Sanctioned Unethical Behavior
New York–January 25th…Yesterday’s testimony by Governor Cuomo’s Chief of Staff Linda Lacewell that Governor Cuomo’s top aide Joe Percoco was in and out of the Executive Chamber, still retained his government office there and still worked on some official matters after departing state service raised a shocking breach of ethics and protocol that potentially violates the State Ethics and Codes of Conduct for employees. Ms. Lacewell also testified to the close proximity of Mr. Percoco’s office to the Governor, suggesting he was not only aware of his presence in the Executive Chamber, but also sanctioned it.
Throughout the trial, Mr. Percoco has been characterized by both sides as Governor Cuomo’s closest confidante whose job duties blurred between governmental, political and personal. Ms. Lacewell testified under oath that Mr. Percoco kept his government office directly next to the Governor’s in the Executive Chamber, was “in and out” regularly and acknowledged he still worked on some official state matters.
“The wiretaps make clear that Joe Percoco had no respect for the law, but what yesterday’s testimony revealed is that Governor Cuomo was perfectly content–and perhaps insistent– with these blurred lines,” said NYGOP Chairman Ed Cox. “Mr. Percoco had no business working on any official matters or keeping his state office after he left the state payroll, yet the Governor’s approval of this unethical behavior allowed him to sell his influence.
In addition, Lacewell herself described a systematic approach with herself and potentially other Cuomo officials keeping a scorecard of donors who had work pending before the state.
“What someone has or has not contributed should be totally irrelevant to the operation of government–the only reason to know is if you are keeping a scorecard. This is more evidence of Andrew Cuomo’s culture of corruption and disrespect for the law that goes well beyond Joe Percoco,” concluded Cox.