ALBANY – A former top adviser to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Thursday had his sentencing date for his conviction in a bribery scheme delayed until a week after the Democratic Party’s gubernatorial primary.
Joseph Percoco, convicted earlier this year of trading his powerful job with Cuomo for cash from companies with business before the state government, will be sentenced on Sept. 20, U.S. District Court Judge Valerie Caproni ordered Thursday.
It is the second time Caproni has moved the sentencing date for Percoco. He was due to be sentenced Aug. 20.
Cuomo’s chief rivals in the governor’s race – Republican Marc Molinaro and activist Cynthia Nixon, who is running against Cuomo in the Sept. 13 Democratic primary – have made much on the campaign trail about Percoco’s conviction, as well as the recent guilty verdicts against four individuals in the Buffalo Billion trial involving major upstate economic development projects.
Cuomo's political opponents have sought to portray corruption in Albany during the Cuomo administration as a still-flourishing activity. Cuomo has not been accused of any wrongdoing.
In a one-page order, the judge on Thursday did not give a reason for the sentencing delay of Percoco.
Barry Bohrer, Percoco’s lawyer, said in an email response Thursday that neither he nor prosecutors asked for the sentencing postponement.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan recently asked the judge to give Percoco a prison sentence that will “meaningfully exceed” five years. Dozens of people with various levels of ties to Percoco, including longtime Cuomo insiders, recently wrote the judge asking for leniency in her sentencing of Percoco.
Caproni is scheduled on Friday afternoon in her lower Manhattan courtroom to sentence former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. The Manhattan Democrat was recently convicted in a re-trial of his corruption case.