Earlier this week, a 49-year-old former aide of Andrew Cuomo (D), who’s the current governor of New York, was sentenced to six years behind bars for allegedly engaging in what countless would agree is corrupt conduct.
Specifically, Judge Valerie Caproni sentenced former Cuomo aide Joseph Percoco, who was once so close to the the democratic governor that he had been described as a “third brother,” to six years in prison shortly after he was found guilty of three charges relating a bribery conspiracy that involved approximately $320,000, which reportedly came mostly in the form of a salary payment to his wife, Lisa Percoco.
According to reports, it was found that Percoco had used his political influence to help get his wife a “low-show” job that paid $7,500 every month. In addition to that, he also helped boost the salary of an executive’s son who worked in the state government. Moreover, he also, quite stunningly, worked to get rid of an employee who the executive’s son purportedly did not like.
“I hope this sentence will be heard in Albany,” asserted Judge Caproni just before announcing her sentence in court.
“If you can’t live on a public sector salary, get out of government.” continued the judge, demonstrating that she was not just speaking to Percoco but to everyone working in the public sector.
“What you can’t do is stay in government and make up the difference in income by taking bribes,” she added, noting, “if you do, this court will show you no mercy.”
When given a chance to speak, Percoco responded by apologizing for his misconduct. “I would just like to express how sorry I am for my actions,” stated the former aide.
“I live with the consequences every night and day of my life. I will continue to live with the consequences of those actions for the rest of my life,” he added.
The judge, however, appeared skeptical that he was truly sorry about his actions and not just that he did not get away with his criminal behavior.
“It’s not entirely clear to me what he’s remorseful for,” noted Judge Caproni at one point during the trial. “Is he remorseful for getting caught?” she pressed.
Prior to the sentencing, Barry Bohrer, who’s Percoco’s lawyer, attempted to push for a two-year sentence on the grounds that their client deserved a break since he was not technically an elected official and supposedly was not very influential to the governor.
“Joe is a good man,” argued Bohrer, adding, “he went off the rails in a couple of instances.”
Thankfully, though, the prosecutors in charge of the case made sure to sharply object to what many agree would have been a slap on the wrist.
“He was one of his closest advisors. He spoke for the governor,“ explained prosecutor Janis Echenberg during the trial against Percoco, who was described as being “perpetually in the ear” of one of the “three men in a room” making important decisions for the rest of the state.
The prosecutors also reportedly showed that the former aide had even gone so far as to refer to the bribes he received as “ziti,” which is a term from “The Sopranos,” a well-known TV show about a fictional mafia family.
Unsurprisingly, Caproni appeared to be completely convinced by the prosecutors’ case. “When the executive deputy secretary flouts the most basic rules of campaign finance and government record keeping it’s no wonder that many other state employees follow his lead to the detriment of rule of law and transparency in government,” she reasoned.
Despite being found guilty and sentenced, however, Percoco’s lawyer mentioned to reporters that they are, quite bafflingly, attempting to get bail pending appeal, which would mean that he would be allowed to remain free until the case is reviewed.
Sadly, the liberal’s conduct, which many consider utterly reprehensible, is not extremely shocking due to the fact that it is quite common for democrats to get caught being unethical or corrupt.
For example, several months ago, an investigation found that Wisconsin state Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) had, quite disturbingly, not only gone on a blatantly racist rant while inside a local bank but also bullied and retaliated against one of her employees. Although she was consequently removed from her ranking position on the state’s Joint Finance Committee, she is still somehow serving as a state senator and being paid with taxpayer money.
A few months before that, former Pennsylvania mayor Ed Pawlowski (D) was found guilty of forty-seven criminal charges. According to reports, some of those charges included wire fraud, mail fraud, honest services fraud, conspiracy, bribery, attempted extortion, unlawfully altering city contracts to get extra money for his own mayoral campaigns, and giving false statements to federal officials.
Prior to that, transgender democratic candidate Juliet Germanotta, who was campaigning in Wisconsin, was placed under arrest and charged with “third-degree grand larceny” for allegedly stealing an “18-karat yellow gold Zambian emerald and diamond ring” that was purportedly valued at approximately $4,800 from a New York jewelry shop in New York.
And before that, Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper (D), who has since been suspended by Florida Governor Rick Scott (R), was reportedly taken into custody on charges of money laundering, official misconduct, and campaign finance violations for allegedly using bribe money help illegally fund her re-election campaign.