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Docs: Plea talks underway in Cuomo aides’ corruption case

Joseph Percoco, executive deputy secretary for Gov. Andrew

Joseph Percoco, executive deputy secretary for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and one of his most loyal advisers, is shown in an April 26, 2013 file photo from a news conference in Albany. Federal prosecutors have accused Percoco and Alain Kaloyeros, president of SUNY Polytechnic Institute, of bribery and fraud relating to state economic development initiatives. Photo Credit: AP / Mike Groll

Manhattan federal prosecutors are involved in discussions of the possibility of a plea with defendants in the upstate development corruption case filed last month against two former aides to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and others, according to a new court filing.

The disclosure came in a motion for a continuance filed Monday that clerks did not immediately post publicly on the docket for Manhattan federal court.

“Counsel for the government have been engaged and continue to be engaged in discussions concerning possible dispositions in this case with counsel for the defendants,” prosecutor Janis Echenberg said. The request to continue the case until Nov. 23 was granted by Magistrate Kevin Fox.

Joseph Percoco, a former confidant and top aide to Cuomo, and Alain Kaloyeros, the former president of SUNY Polytechnic Institute, have been charged along with developers from Syracuse and Buffalo and an energy company executive.

At the beginning of a case, some discussion of the possibility of a disposition is routine. The filing by Echenberg did not specify how serious discussions were, or which defendants were involved, although it did say that “each of the defendants, through counsel, has consented” to a continuance “for that purpose.”

A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara declined to comment on the filing, but the lawyer for Percoco said no serious discussions were occurring on his end.

“There have been no such discussions,” said defense lawyer Barry Bohrer. “At this point the only ‘possible disposition’ would be a dismissal of all charges.”

Kaloyeros’ lawyer also said he was not involved in any plea negotiations.

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