Gov. Cuomo on Monday threw a former longtime aide and two embattled appointees under the bus — by refusing to defend them after The Post obtained excerpts of a blockbuster subpoena that shows they and three other current or former members of his administration are under investigation by the feds.
A statement from Cuomo’s counsel, Alphonso David, said the governor had “full confidence” in three top-level staffers named in the subpoena, calling them “nothing more than victims or witnesses to a potential crime.”
The statement of support failed, however, to mention Joe Percoco, Cuomo’s former deputy executive secretary and campaign manager, and two other officials named in the subpoena: New York Power Authority President and CEO Gil Quiniones and former Economic Development Corp. spokesman Peter Cutler.
Percoco’s name was omitted despite his having been close to Cuomo’s family. At the funeral for Cuomo’s dad, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, the governor called Percoco “my father’s third son, who sometimes I think he loved the most.”
The aides and associates he defended were Director of State Operations Jim Malatras, Secretary to the Governor Bill Mulrow and outgoing Deputy Director of State Operations for Policy Andrew Kennedy.
Here was the administration statement of defense:
“Bill Mulrow, Jim Malatras and Andrew Kennedy are honorable public servants and the governor has full confidence in them,” David said. “The subpoena does not focus on any current member of staff but rather third parties who may have exploited the state; to suggest otherwise is wrong, reckless and irresponsible.”
Notice the new line of defense out of the administration: "The subpoena does not focus on any current member of staff but rather third parties who may have exploited the state; to suggest otherwise is wrong, reckless and irresponsible.”
Ah, but one of those "third parties" who "may have exploited the state" was Andy's very close former aide, Joe Percoco, who was STILL working unofficially for the governor in late March during the budget negotiations, as was reported by the Wall Street Journal (see here and here.)
So, this line of defense that it is "third parties" who are not currently working for the governor who "may have exploited the state" - well, that's just jive.
The fact is, all of these people named in the subpoenas were Cuomo cronies, they seem to have acted with as little oversight as possible both while they worked for Cuomo and afterwards, and now that they're in the sights of the U.S. attorney, Cuomo's throwing them under the bus and making like it's got nothing to do with him.
But of course it has everything to do with him and when the arrests come, the line of defense that these people are "third parties" who don't work for the administration anymore isn't going to fly.
Especially not when some of these guys look to deal with prosecutors for less time and tell tales on people above them.
And before I end, let's not forget that Alain Kaloyeros - Dr. Nano - the head of SUNY Polytechnic Institute and a key player in Cuomo's Buffalo Billion Project and other economic development programs, has also been subpoenaed by the feds.
Cuomo wants you to forget that fact too, even as he wants you to forget that some of his other cronies - "third parties" now - once belonged to Cuomo's very own party, in some cases just six weeks or so ago (see one Joe Percoco.)
We're getting a new line of defense out of Cuomo almost every day now (see here for yesterday's) - shows you just how desperate he's getting.