Dominic CarterFeb 26, 2018, 9:47 pmFeb 27, 2018, 3:31 pm

Juror replaced with alternate in Percoco corruption trial

Defense rests its case as jurors prepare for deliberations

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MANHATTAN, N.Y. — The end is in sight in the corruption trial of Gov. Cuomo's former aide, Joe Percoco. On Monday, the defense was light on witnesses as another juror was replaced. Defense attorneys initially promised a full slate of witnesses in an effort to clear their clients, but that didn't happen.

The governor's longtime right-hand man has been accused of, in return for favors, taking more than $300,000 in bribes. Prosecutors allege the bribes were mostly arranged through a consultant teaching job for his wife, Lisa, who is an educator.

In discussing how federal Judge Valerie Caproni will give jury instructions, the lawyers debated over defining official acts, explaining the definition of "quid pro quo" as it relates to bribery in the wake of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in the McDonnell case. This case may very well hinge on how much credibility is given to prosecutors' star witness Todd Howe, who had a history of lying and was even arrested while still giving testimony for allegedly committing credit card fraud.

The defense rested after a former state budget director testified Percoco didn't pressure her when he called to ask about releasing state funds that were owed to the Syracuse developers. Meanwhile, jury number 9 was replaced with an alternative following the death of her grandmother.

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