On the seventh day of deliberations in the bribery trial for Joseph Percoco, a former top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and three businessmen, jurors said they were deadlocked, but the judge presiding in the case ordered them to continue to press on.
It was the second time that jurors have reported a logjam in deliberations for the complex trial, in which four defendants face 17 counts related to alleged pay-to-play schemes in which Percoco is accused of using his position to help his co-defendants secure government contracts.
“After considering the facts and the evidence with open minds, and using your instructions as a roadmap, we remain unable to reach a unanimous verdict,” the jury foreman said in a note issued on Monday morning.
Last week, three jurors asked to be dismissed from the case. Lawyers for Steven Aiello and Joseph Gerardi, former executives with real estate developer COR Development, have moved for a mistrial, but Walden Macht & Haran partner Milt Williams Jr., who represents Gerardi, withdrew his motion.
Prosecutors asked for a partial verdict, but U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni of the Southern District of New York declined to do so. She also denied a motion for mistrial by Stephen Coffey of O’Connell and Aronowitz, who represents Aiello.
Percoco is accused of taking $35,000 in bribes from the COR executives to help the company obtain contracts for projects in the Syracuse, New York, area.
The fourth defendant is former Competitive Power Ventures executive Peter Galbraith Kelly Jr., who is accused of helping to set up a $90,000-per-year “low show” job for Percoco’s wife with CPV.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Janis Echenberg, Robert Boone, David Zhou and Matthew Podolsky are prosecuting the case. Deliberations continue on Tuesday.
Cuomo is not accused of any wrongdoing related to the case.
According to trial testimony, however, Percoco was close enough to the Cuomo family that Mario Cuomo, Andrew Cuomo’s father, once referred to Percoco as his third son.