Gov. Andrew Cuomo addressed the conviction of his longtime right-hand man for the first time in public Wednesday, calling it an "aberration" from the rest of his administration.
Daily News reporter Noah Goldberg noted Cuomo read from a slip of paper with hand-written talking points as he spoke with reporters. "He did the same on gun control".
Percoco, 48, faces up to 50 years in prison when he's sentenced on June 6.
"On a personal level this is both sad and shocking". And he said if Percoco was doing more than that, then it was wrong. "He has two young daughters who are going to have to live with this trauma and I feel for them and the pain they are going to go through".
Cuomo insisted that Percoco's behavior "violates everything that my administration is about".
Errigo went on to describe what he called the Cuomo administration's tireless work to hide its crimes and commended the jury for convicting Percoco and "bringing justice to New Yorkers everywhere".
The governor took questions for about 20 minutes, rejecting as "political garbage" any notion that he was culpable for Percoco's actions. "There was absolutely no suggestion ever made that I had anything to do with anything".
"(Percoco) was there for a very long time, he was an important position, and he would come back and he was handling the transition, which is fine", Cuomo said.
Cuomo's quiet presence was felt throughout the eight-week corruption trial of his former deputy executive secretary Percoco, who stood trial alongside three businessmen, including two from Syracuse's Cor Development.
Cox, the chairman of the state Republican Party, called Mr. Cuomo's remarks an "Oscar-worthy performance".
"The truth is that Gov. Cuomo knew Joe Percoco was working for private clients, yet allowed him to continue acting as his chief enforcer and employee of the state, where he was permitted to work just steps from the governor", Cox said in a statement.
The governor said Percoco used the office in 2014 to handle "transition" work but acknowledged the evidence suggested "other work" was being done - a reference to Percoco helping his alleged co-conspirators land government contracts.
"They made a big mistake not getting a formal opinion from JCOPE", Horner said.
"The single best ethics reform, which makes everything else moot is no outside income in government", he said.