Former aide to Andrew Cuomo sentenced to 6 years in prison

Former aide to Andrew Cuomo sentenced to 6 years in prison
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A federal judge sentenced a former top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) to six years in prison on Thursday for accepting more than $300,000 in bribes, The New York Times reports

"I hope this sentence will be heard in Albany," Judge Valerie Caproni said shortly before announcing the sentence, according to the Times.

Joseph Percoco was convicted of soliciting and accepting bribes from executives in two companies, in exchange for helping the firms reach agreements with the state that were beneficial to them. 

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A significant portion of the bribes reached Percoco through a job at a Maryland-based energy company he gave to his wife, Lisa Toscano-Percoco.

In exchange for her salary, Percoco helped the company get an agreement with the state so that it could construct a power plant in the Hudson Valley.

Cuomo once described Percoco as "my father's third son, who I sometimes think he loved the most."

The trial dogged Cuomo during his primary race against progressive challenger Cynthia Nixon, who brought up Percoco during the campaign in an effort to damage her opponent. And Cuomo's Republican opponent in the upcoming general election, Marcus Molinaro, has also used the conviction in order to criticize the governor.

Percoco apologized for his actions prior to the sentencing on Thursday. “I live with the consequences every single day of my life,” he said, according to the Times. “I lie awake every night thinking of the things I could have done differently.”

During the course of Percoco's trial, the governor's name was mentioned 136 times, according to another Times report.

Prosecutors never accused Cuomo of wrongdoing.