Busted Cuomo Confidants Eyed for Gov’s ‘Prison Team'
Published October 2nd, 2016
ALBANY — Several former Andrew Cuomo aides charged with corruption are now under consideration to lead the governor’s “transition team” to federal prison, The Albany Smudge has learned.
Joseph Percoco —Cuomo’s brawny former executive deputy secretary who’s considered “like a brother” to New York’s handsome governor — holds the inside track to lead the transition team “when and if” the governor is charged with a crime.
Cuomo will make the final call, sources said.
“Joe is a no-brainer. Him and Andy are like peas and carrots,” Todd Howe, an eagle-eyed former aide to the governor, said in an off-the-record conversation that he insisted was not to be shared with anyone.
“I'm a sieve. I'll tell you whatever you want," said Howe, who has pleaded guilty to corruption charges in connection with shaking down companies seeking state contracts. "Just don’t burn me, OK?"
Howe has agreed to cooperate with the office of broad-shouldered Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and snitch on old cronies including Percoco, who is charged with receiving $315,000 in bribes.
Howe said he does not believe he will receive an opportunity to lead the team, but would “take it in a jiffy.”
Alain Kaloyeros, the nanotechnology wizard and founder of SUNY Polytechnic Institute who is charged with bid-rigging, would be a “heck of a choice too,” Howe said.
Also on the “short list” of attractive candidates are former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, both of whom have been convicted on political corruption charges; financial crook Bernie Madoff and former Assemblyman-turned-convicted sex offender and federal prisoner, Chris Ortloff.
Cuomo spokesman Albert Soda said the governor is not going to be indicted as far as he knows.
“Nah,” said Soda. “I think this case is gonna fizzle.”