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Long IslandCrime

Judge splits upstate political corruption trial

Joseph Percoco leaves a federal courthouse in Manhattan

Joseph Percoco leaves a federal courthouse in Manhattan after being arraigned on Dec. 1, 2016. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

A federal judge on Tuesday split the upcoming upstate development political corruption trial of a former top aide to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and seven others in two, and said the case involving Cuomo lieutenant Joseph Percoco will begin in January.

U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni said Percoco, accused of taking more than $300,000 in payoffs to wield influence in the executive chamber, will be tried starting Jan. 8 with energy company executive Peter Kelly and two Syracuse developers, Steven Aiello and Joseph Gerardi.

The judge said a second trial revolving around former SUNY Polytechnic Institute President Alain Kaloyeros, accused of illegally steering development projects to favored companies, will begin between May and September of next year.

The Kaloyeros trial will include the two Syracuse men, both officials at COR Development, and three executives with Buffalo construction company LP Ciminelli — Louis Ciminelli, Michael Laipple and Kevin Schuler.

Caproni had previously planned on a trial involving all of the defendants beginning as early as October.

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