May 3, 2016

America Rising Expands Buffalo Billion Research To Include Disgraced Cuomo Aide

America Rising PAC has expanded its ongoing research efforts into potentially unethical dealings between New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Erie County officials, and real estate developer Michael Joseph to include embattled Cuomo consigliere Joseph Percoco.

America Rising submitted a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request for Percoco’s communications with Joseph and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz following news that Percoco has been fingered in an ongoing investigation into Cuomo’s “Buffalo Billion” program.

America Rising initially filed FOIL requests in November 2015 for communications between Joseph, Poloncarz, and Cuomo’s chief of staff, but new reports reveal that Percoco was the administration’s point person on the program.

Politico New York reports:

The governor’s remarks were his first since news broke late last week that Percoco is at the center of an investigation into the Buffalo Billion, Cuomo’s signature upstate economic development program. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is looking into whether Percoco may have failed to disclose thousands of dollars in income he received from companies that were doing business with the state.

On Monday, the state’s Joint Commission On Public Ethics released disclosures showing that Percoco earned between $70,000 and $125,000 in income in 2014 from fees earned doing consulting work with two companies involved in the Buffalo Billion.

Percoco’s involvement in the Buffalo Billion scandal is just one of the many ethical controversies plaguing the Cuomo administration in the past few days alone.

Percoco’s connection to  New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s potentially illegal fundraising scheme was exposed in another Politico New York report last week, and his lobbying work is the subject of multiple investigations, according to a breaking New York Times report:

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are currently looking at whether Mr. Percoco and his wife failed to properly disclose thousands of dollars in income they had received from entities doing business with the state, according to people briefed on the matter…

…Also last week, the governor’s office received a grand jury subpoena seeking a broad range of records, including correspondence and other documents, reflecting whether Mr. Percoco may have sought a benefit on behalf of any of the companies that paid him and his wife, or anyone else, a person with knowledge of the subpoena said.

Cuomo, forced to finally break his silence, admitted on Monday that he knew about Percoco’s revolving door dealings.

View America Rising’s FOIL request here.