The government’s star witness in the corruption trial for Joseph Percoco, a former aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, was arrested Thursday after admitting during cross-examination by a defense attorney on Thursday that he violated the terms of his cooperation agreement with prosecutors.
Todd Howe, a former lobbyist with Whiteman Osterman & Hanna who says he took part in alleged bribery schemes involving Percoco and executives from two firms seeking government contracts, testified on Thursday that he falsely stated in 2014 that he did not have any prior felony convictions on an application for disability insurance, which was unbeknownst to the prosecution at the time.
He also admitted on Thursday during cross-examination by Daniel Gitner of Lankler Siffert & Wohl, who is defending a former energy company executive standing trial alongside Percoco, that he did not tell prosecutors that he improperly challenged a credit card purchase of a luxury hotel room at the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan.
Howe pleaded guilty to eight felony counts as part of his cooperation agreement with prosecutors. Over two days of cross-examination, defense attorneys have grilled Howe over his criminal history and significant financial woes and have sought to portray him as untrustworthy.
On Friday, U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken of the Southern District of New York granted a motion by the prosecution to revoke Howe’s $100,000 bail.
Nicholas Biase, a spokesman for the Southern District U.S. Attorney’s Office, confirmed in an email that Howe was taken into custody for violating the terms of his bail, but said no new charges are being filed against him and declined to comment on the specifics of his arrest.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Janis Echenberg, Robert Boone, David Zhou and Matthew Podolsky are prosecuting the case.