Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Education Link To Cuomo Corruption Scandals

Dunno if you knew this, but Joe Percoco's wife used to be a teacher.

Percoco, in case you don't know, was once a top aide to Governor Cuomo, so close to the governor that Andy called him a "brother."

He's also now under federal investigation for corruption - and so it appears is his wife, the ex-teacher:

A federal probe involving a longtime aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is examining an energy-company project and a company executive who oversaw it, according to people familiar with the matter.

A focus of the inquiry into the energy company, these people said, is Peter Galbraith Kelly Jr., senior vice president for external affairs for Competitive Power Ventures Holdings LLC, and a program his team oversaw called CPV Educates.

Competitive Power Ventures received a subpoena in recent weeks from the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office, a person familiar with the matter said. The company has said it is cooperating with the investigation.

...

The CPV Educates program, which sent teachers and provided curriculum to schools to instruct on energy-related issues, employed Lisa Toscano-Percoco, the wife of former Cuomo aide Joseph Percoco, the company confirmed through a spokesman.

Ms. Toscano-Percoco, a former teacher, was involved in administering the program, the spokesman said.

As previously reported, the probe by the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation is examining whether Mr. Percoco, who for years was one of Mr. Cuomo’s closest aides, had conflicts of interest with or took official action in favor of companies with business before the state while those entities were paying him and his wife.

Ms. Toscano-Percoco didn’t respond to requests for comment. Mr. Percoco’s attorney, Barry Bohrer, declined to comment or say whether he also represents Ms. Toscano-Percoco. Mr. Bohrer has previously called Mr. Percoco a “dedicated and effective public servant.”

The feds want "email messages, course syllabi and other materials connected to CPV Educates" to see "whether the program did what it purported to do."

At roughly the same time Percoco and his wife were making the outside dough, they had a huge balloon mortgage payment on their $800,000 house and were spending $40,000 on a home theater system.

Gee, why couldn't they do all of that on a teacher's salary and Percoco's government pay?

In case you're wondering what all this might have to do with Cuomo, well, once again, it concerns that lobbyist/former aide he says he doesn't really know all that well:

Also working for Competitive Power Ventures during the period in which Ms. Toscano-Percoco was working for the company was lobbyist Todd Howe, who previously worked for Mr. Cuomo and his father, and whose relationship with Mr. Percoco is being scrutinized as part of the federal probe, according to people familiar with the matter.

Several years ago, Competitive Power Ventures hired Mr. Howe to help set up meetings with people in New York who might help move the Hudson Valley power plant forward, a person familiar with the matter said. The person said Mr. Howe hasn’t been employed by Competitive Power Ventures in the past year.

Boy, I bet Todd Howe's got a lot of stories to tell prosecutors if they ever squeeze him.

Howe's name comes up again and again and again in all these stories.

And, in case you missed it, Howe helped Cuomo take in $25K from one of the companies subpoenaed in the corruption investigation, with Cuomo right there in the room.

Cuomo couldn't have missed what was happening because, well, there weren't many other people in the room other than Cuomo, Howe and the people handing over the checks:

ALBANY — While Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been downplaying his relationship with Todd Howe, a lobbyist at the center of a federal probe of his administration, records show that Howe was steering developers to contribute to the Cuomo campaign as recently as five months ago.

Howe, then a lobbyist for a subsidiary of Whiteman, Osterman & Hanna, hosted a dinner gathering with Cuomo on Dec. 14 in a small upstairs room of the Fort Orange Club, a baronial brick retreat across the street from Whiteman’s Albany offices and up the block from the state Capitol.

The governor walked in at 8:30 p.m., accompanied by two of his top aides, Bill Mulrow and Joe Percoco. He was met by Howe, who worked as his deputy chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, executives from COR Development and Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney, a key Republican ally of the administration, according to public records and four people familiar with the event.

The night’s $25,000 haul came in five checks from three COR executives, the wife of an executive and one of the company’s LLCs. They were deposited on Jan. 12. COR, a Syracuse-based firm, is building two research buildings for SUNY Polytechnic Institute at a business park the company owns in DeWitt.

While Howe’s work was only recently registered with state lobbying regulators, he was a paid adviser to both SUNY Poly and COR at the time of fundraiser. And Percoco, who has managed Cuomo’s political campaigns for more than a decade and shared an office with Howe during Cuomo's 2014 re-election effort, received at least $50,000 in consulting fees from COR that year — something Cuomo has said he did not know.

It's amazing how connected this all is, isn't it? 

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