The next is the fifth merchandise from my “Albany Insider” column that was reduce for house in Monday’s print editions:
The trial of Gov. Cuomo’s long-time aide and confidante Joseph Percoco could also be inflicting consternation behind closed doorways, however the public picture the governor sought to challenge final week was enterprise as standard.
Cuomo spent a lot of the week in Albany, out of sight. However his workplace was busy churning out releases on every little thing from saying government orders pertaining to the flu and web neutrality to native points like upstate ice jams.
Cuomo handled the media simply as soon as, when he introduced with the governors of New Jersey and Connecticut through convention name a deliberate lawsuit to dam the federal tax act. Cuomo, in taking just a few off matter questions , mentioned he doesn’t imagine the trial will harm him politically.
“He is acquired to maneuver ahead, he is acquired to point out that he is lively,” mentioned Baruch Faculty Public Affairs Prof. Doug Muzzio. ” He is making an attempt to provide a way that he is unconcerned. On the identical time, he is working a governor’s race.”
However state GOP spokeswoman Jessica Proud mentioned that attempt as Cuomo would possibly to vary the topic, troublesome info has already come out after only one week of the anticipated multi-week trial.
She famous that Cuomo Chief of Workers Linda Lacewell testified that Percoco, who’s accused of accepting bribes from firms with enterprise earlier than the state, continued to come back into his authorities workplace at occasions after leaving the state payroll to run Cuomo’s marketing campaign.
The state Republican Celebration put out a press release saying that Lacewell testified that Percoco “was out and in of the Govt Chamber, nonetheless retained his authorities workplace there and nonetheless labored on some official issues after departing state service raised a surprising breach of ethics and protocol that probably violates the State Ethics and Codes of Conduct for workers.
“Ms. Lacewell additionally testified to the shut proximity of Mr. Percoco’s workplace to the Governor, suggesting he was not solely conscious of his presence within the Govt Chamber, but additionally sanctioned it.”
Requested in regards to the subject Friday, Cuomo refused to remark. “We’re in the midst of a trial. I feel it might be extremely inappropriate for me to supply commentary at the moment,” he mentioned.
However a Democratic insider mentioned that “the pathetic state GOP can flail and deflect all it desires, however nothing modifications that incontrovertible fact that 4 of the state’s prime Republicans have corruption trials developing, they need to defend Trump’s indefensible tax hike on New Yorkers, they usually have not gained a statewide race because the (George W.) Bush administration.”
The 4 GOPers he referred to who’re going through corruption trials this 12 months are former state Senate Majority Chief Dean Skelos, ex-Nassau County Govt Ed Mangano, former state Sen. George Maziarz, and former Oyster Bay City Supervisor John Venditto.