Joseph Percoco and Todd Howe are part of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s year-old expanding investigation into Andrew Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion program.
With a new round of subpoenas sent out over the past week, including to Cuomo’s executive chamber on Friday, federal investigators are examining the contract awards process in the Buffalo Billion program, as well as possible other state projects elsewhere.
And Albany was reeling as it became known that the probe was getting close to trusted Cuomo advisers.
No other member of the Cuomo team had more staying power, influence and trust than Percoco, who left his senior aide job in January to work for Madison Square Garden Co.
“The devastation is acute. Everyone is literally flabbergasted,” one state source said of the governor and his executive chamber staff.
“It’s stunning,” one longtime Cuomo loyalist said.
If you followed the Moreland story or the Buffalo Billion story even slightly, you knew there was a lot of funkiness around Cuomo's donors and the bidding process in the Buffalo Billion project.
After all, there was a reason the Cuomo administration had subpoenas to Cuomo's donors "pulled back" during the Moreland Commission, a reason too why they use untraceable communication within the inner circle to keep accountability at bay.
The only thing that's truly stunning here is that Bharara is following the trail of criminality into Cuomo's inner circle and laying out the possibility that Cuomo himself could end up ensnared (for nothing happens within the Cuomo administration that Cuomo himself - ever the control freak - does not know.)
No wonder Cuomo is said to be flabbergasted and devastated by the news that Percoco and Howe are under investigation and his Buffalo Billion Project is a mess of corruption.
Because in the past, he's never had to worry about anybody really going after him with an investigation.
Nahh, he's the guy who uses investigations and regulatory bodies on others (i.e., his enemies.)
But now he's having it done to him.
Stunning indeed - if you're Sheriff Andy and you're not used to being the hunted one.