For immediate release:
Monday, January 22nd, 2018

Contact:
Betsy Gotbaum, Citizens Union, 212-724-6608
Susan Lerner, Common Cause/NY, 212-691-6421
Jennifer Wilson, League of Women Voters/NYS, 518-465-4162
Blair Horner, NYPIRG, 518-727-4506
John Kaehny, Reinvent Albany, 917-388-9040

YEAR OF “ALBANY ON TRIAL” STARTS WITH FORMER TOP AIDE TO GOVERNOR CUOMO AND BIG POLITICAL DONORS FACING BRIBERY AND EXTORTION CHARGES

GROUPS CALL FOR STRONG ANTI-CORRUPTION MEASURES AS FEDS SHINE HARSH SPOTLIGHT ON ALBANY’S PAY TO PLAY CULTURE

A series of major government corruption trials begin today with former executive deputy secretary to Governor Cuomo, Joseph Percoco and top political contributors to the governor facing bribery and extortion charges. The case alleges that Percoco received more than $300,000 worth of bribes from companies that had business before the state. Charges include conspiracy to commit extortion and solicitation of bribes and gratuities.

This is the first of six trials that will play out during this year’s legislative session. In response to the corruption risks revealed by the trials, government watchdog groups have called on the Governor and Legislature to finally act on major reforms that would increase the transparency and oversight of state contracting, business subsidies and reduce the risk of corruption by restricting campaign contributions from people doing business with the state and strengthening government oversight agencies.

The groups have also called for closing the “LLC Loophole” which allows for essentially unlimited contributions through Limited Liability Companies and full transparency for discretionary “lump sum” spending, which the groups say are much bigger, more secretive and a greater corruption risk than member items.

RESTORE PUBLIC TRUST