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Judge sets start of corruption trial for ex-Cuomo aide

Joe Percoco, then campaign manager for Andrew

Joe Percoco, then campaign manager for Andrew Cuomo's gubernatorial campaign, at a press conference at New York City Hall on Sept. 29, 2010. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

A federal judge in Manhattan on Thursday set the start of the corruption trial of Joe Percoco, a former top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, for Oct. 30.

U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni also set Jan. 8 as a backup date if lawyer conflicts force a delay, or if she decides to grant defense motions to split the trial of Percoco and seven co-defendants in two and needs a date for a second trial.

Percoco, 47, of South Salem in Westchester County, is charged in two interlocking schemes with taking more than $300,000 to wield influence in Cuomo’s executive chamber and working with former SUNY Polytechnic Institute President Alain Kaloyeros to rig bids on upstate development projects.

Six executives from a Buffalo construction company, a Syracuse developer and an energy company are also charged in the case. Prosecutors told Caproni they couldn’t rule out a superseding indictment that might add defendants.

A dozen protesters from Orange County attended the hearing and later waited for Percoco outside a courthouse bathroom and followed him to a nearby subway, objecting to his alleged acceptance of payoffs to help grease the wheels for a gas-fired power plant in Wawayanda in Orange County.

“Don’t you care about the state? Don’t you care about the community?” one protester shouted at Percoco, huddled in a trenchcoat under an umbrella, according to a video of the incident. “Don’t you care about anything but yourself and your greed?”

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