Percoco's Improper Use of State Office Was for 'Transition Matters,' Cuomo Says

New York state launches probe into utilities' response to 2 storms

New York state launches probe into utilities' response to 2 storms

Cuomo said he respects the jury's decision, but feels personally sad over the conviction of Joe Percoco, a man he has referred to as his "brother". "He has two young daughters who are going to have to live with this trauma and I feel for them and the pain they are going to go through". State Senator John DeFrancisco, a Republican who is seeking his party's nomination to run against Mr. Cuomo this fall, called Mr. Cuomo's explanation of Mr. Percoco's presence in the office "preposterous" and "an insult to the intelligence of New Yorkers".

Cuomo insisted that Percoco's behavior "violates everything that my administration is about". "We strive for total integrity and this is a total aberration from the people who work in the administration".

The governor took questions for about 20 minutes, rejecting as "political garbage" any notion that he was culpable for Percoco's actions.

The trial also highlighted Percoco's frequent use of state government offices while he was off the state payroll in 2014 and managing Cuomo's re-election campaign, a potential violation of state laws.

"This was a two-year trial, investigation", he said.

"(Percoco) was there for a very long time, he was an important position, and he would come back and he was handling the transition, which is fine", Cuomo said.

State GOP Chairman Ed Cox ripped Cuomo's comments as "outright lies." andrevisionist history.

DeFrancisco said the evidence showed Percoco made 837 calls from the office over 68 days, "within spitball range of the governor's desk".

"There was absolutely no suggestion ever made that I had anything to do with anything", he said, adding that anyone who had followed the trial would see that "the governor's involvement was never mentioned".

Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Group said Cuomo should have sought an opinion from the state's Joint Commission on Public Ethics before allowing Percoco to use a government office while working on the campaign.

Cuomo argued that the "No. 1" ethics change needed in light of the trial was a ban on lawmakers' and public employees' outside income, even though that wasn't the issue in the Percoco case. "When you have a person who works in government and also gets paid on the outside by another employer that conflict always causes problems".

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