ALBANY - A federal grand jury charged a former top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and seven others in a wide-ranging, 14-count felony indictment handed down Tuesday.
The indictment against former Cuomo aide Joseph Percoco, ex-SUNY Polytechnic Institute President Alain Kaloyeros and six developers and business executives ensures a federal trial will move forward.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara first laid out criminal charges in September, accusing Percoco of accepting bribes and Kaloyeros of fraudulently rigging bids for state-funded contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars.But Bharara faced a key Wednesday deadline to secure an indictment against the defendants, which he successfully met.
The indictment accuses Percoco of accepting $287,000 in bribes from Competitive Power Ventures, a Maryland-based company building a natural-gas power plant in Orange County, and $35,000 from COR Development, a Syracuse-area developer.
Kaloyeros, meanwhile, is accused of steering a $750 million contract to Buffalo-area developer LPCiminelli and $105 million in contracts to Syracuse-based COR Development.
The contracts involved some of the Cuomo administration's biggest economic-development projects, including the RiverBend complex in Buffalo, which will house a massive solar-panel manufacturing facility for SolarCity.
LPCiminelli executives Louis Ciminelli, Michael Laipple and Kevin Schuler are also charged in the indictment, as are COR executives Steven Aiello and Joseph Gerardi and former Competitive Power Ventures vice president Peter Galbraith Kelly.
The defendants have maintained their innocence.
In a statement Tuesday, Percoco's attorney Barry Bohrer called the case a "real turkey."
"We will knock the stuffing out of it at trial," Bohrer said. "We give thanks for a system in which a jury can reject the government's efforts to criminalize conduct that has been found unworthy of prosecution by the highest court in the land."
Kaloyeros' attorneys -- Michael Miller, Jeff Novack and David Hirsch -- issued a joint statement saying they were "disappointed with the government’s decision to indict Dr. Kaloyeros."
"Dr. Kaloyeros is innocent of the charges filed against him and looks forward to being exonerated," the attorneys said.
An arraignment date has not yet been set, according to Bharara's office.
Governor Cuomo issued the following statement after the indictments were handed up:
"As I said two months ago when the US Attorney first made this case public, this is a profoundly sad situation for me personally. Now the justice system must take its course, and any of those found guilty of abusing the public's trust should and will be punished. Changes need to be made to restore faith at every level of government. My administration has taken a number of steps in the past several months to reform the procurement process, and has proposed additional measures for the Legislature to take up when they return."