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Arrested Witness Will Return to Trial of Ex-Cuomo Aid



Joseph Percoco (left) was a longtime associate and aide to Governor Andrew Cuomo (right).

On Thursday night, February 8, in the corruption trial against Governor Andrew Cuomo’s former aide Joseph Percoco, the star witness for the prosecution Todd Howe was arrested after admitting that he probably violated the cooperation deal he had with the feds.

Nicholas Biase with the office of the Manhattan US Attorney told The Post that Howe “was remanded back to custody for violating the terms of his bail.” Howe, who has no additional charges placed against him, is currently being held in Lower Manhattan at the Metropolitan Correctional Center. He is still scheduled to testify on Monday, February 12, in Percoco’s corruption trial.

When court broke for recess on Thursday evening, defense attorney Dan Gitner was in the middle of his cross-examination of Howe. Gitner reported falling ill over the weekend and has requested that U.S. District Court Judge Valerie Caproni adjourn the trial until Wednesday,

February 14.

According to The Post, “Under cross-examination Thursday, Howe admitted he lied to his credit card company in the fall of 2016 — after signing an agreement with the government that required him to avoid committing future crimes. Howe admitted that in October 2016, he asked his credit card company to refund $604.86 in charges from a stay at the Waldorf Astoria, suggesting he hadn’t stayed there. His stunning testimony came on the second day of his blistering cross-examination at the corruption trial of Percoco, whom Howe claims to have helped obtain $300,000 in bribes. Howe said he canceled the charge for the hotel stay amid a series of nine sit-downs with authorities investigating Percoco’s alleged ‘pay-to-play’ scheme involving companies doing business with the state.”

The intense questioning, he experienced in Manhattan federal court, admittedly caused Percoco to realize that he had violated the terms of the cooperation agreement that he had with the feds.

If Howe revealed all of his prior criminal acts and did not commit new offenses, as part of his deal, the prosecution had agreed to seek leniency for him during his sentencing for the eight felony charges against him.

By Rebecca Gold


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