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Judge: Percoco federal bribery trial to continue into March

Joseph Percoco, seen here on Feb. 13, 2018.

Joseph Percoco, seen here on Feb. 13, 2018. Credit: Charles Eckert

The judge overseeing the federal bribery trial of one-time Andrew Cuomo right-hand man Joe Percoco said Wednesday she’ll tell jurors that it is now expected to extend into the week of March 5, long past its expected completion date.

Manhattan U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni, who has been pressing defense lawyers to move faster since trial began Jan. 23, made the estimate after learning at least one defendant plans to testify and other defense witnesses may include former state operations director Howard Glaser.

Percoco, 48, of South Salem, is charged with taking over $300,000 in bribes from clients of lobbyist Todd Howe, a cooperating witness. His co-defendants include energy company executive Peter Galbraith Kelly and Syracuse developers Steve Aiello and Joe Gerardi.

For a third consecutive day on Wednesday, testimony focused on the alleged “low show” job designing an energy education outreach program for elementary students that Kelly hired Percoco’s wife Lisa to do for $90,000 a year.

Kerri Hamm, a co-worker of Percoco who was paid much less, described the work as mostly designing craft projects and assembling cut-and-paste teaching materials from the internet. Prosecutors say Lisa Percoco’s pay secured favors from her husband.

Prosecutors said they hope to rest their case Thursday.

Among other prospective defense witnesses, Aiello’s lawyer said he is likely to take the stand, and Kelly’s lawyer said he may call Glaser, who worked with Percoco as one of Cuomo’s top aides.

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