NEW YORK -- The day off for a winter storm wasn't enough to bring the jury to verdicts in the federal trial of Joseph Percoco and three co-defendants.
The jury returned Thursday to the downtown Manhattan courtroom after having the day off Wednesday because of a heavy snowstorm.
But they ended the day how the started it: Without consensus.
Jurors asked for the whole transcript of the six-week trial, but U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni said that would be difficult.
She told the jury "logistically it would be very time consuming, measured in days, to get you the entire transcript."
The snowstorm not only affected the trial. It affected Percoco himself.
Passing the time in the courtroom, Percoco told reporters the power was out in his South Salem, Westchester County, home. Last week, during a separate storm, he only lost power for two hours.
As for his day off from the trial Wednesday, he said he spent part of the day off shoveling his back deck so the family dog could go outside.
The day ended ironically when a juror sent a note that she had been called for jury duty elsewhere.
"I am very popular with the justice system," the juror wrote. "I have received another jury summons with a report day of today. Is it possible to get a note to explain my absence?"
Caproni gave her the note as she excused the jury for the day around 2 p.m.
Percoco, a confidant and top aide of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's, is accused of pocketing more than $315,000 in bribes from three upstate executives for his helping their companies with business matters they had with the state.
Most of the money came in the form of a low-show job for Percoco's wife that was provided by co-defendant Peter Galbraith Kelly, a former senior vice president of Competitive Power Ventures, who needed help with state agreements that would benefit the company's power plants in Orange County and New Jersey.
Steven Aiello and Joseph Gerardi, executives at Cor Development Co., are accused of paying Percoco $35,000 for his assistance on Cor's rebuilding of Syracuse's Inner Harbor.
On Tuesday a series of notes to Caproni made it clear the jury was nowhere close to deciding the case.
The jury foreman was most succinct in telling Caproni jurors were "largely divided in opposing views" and could not reach "unanimous consent."
"The only thing we seem to agree on is that we cannot agree," he wrote.
Notes from the jury
But others were more personal.
Juror #7, whose childcare issues forced Caproni this week to end deliberations each day at 2 p.m., said her kids were sick and she needed off the case.
She seemed dejected later when Caproni would not release her.
The judge asked her to use the day off to take her kids to the doctor and even tried to see if her issues had relaxed so deliberations could extend beyond 2 p.m.
She told the judge they hadn't.
If the woman is not able to return, there are three options: an alternate juror could be selected, but deliberations would have to begin anew; 11 jurors could complete deliberations but the defense would have to consent to that; or a mistrial would be declared.
Juror #2 cited work issues - he told his bosses the trial would last 4 to 6 weeks as jurors were advised - and suggested the loss of power from last week's nor'easter was also complicating his life.
"I believe at this point a full decision will be more time than I can personally and professionally afford," he wrote in asking to remain on the jury no longer than that day.
"We have some very fundamental differences and nobody wants to compromise our own beliefs and/or process."
Juror #13, who had been an alternate before replacing one of the original jurors before closing arguments, wrote that she could not afford to continue paying a babysitter $20 an hour and that "my children need their mother back."
"I physically and emotionally cannot do this anymore," she wrote. "I completely respect this process and this court but need to have my life back."
Contents of the case
The jurors were all careful, as the judge had instructed, not to reveal in any communications specifics of where deliberations stood or how they were leaning individually.
Three of the four defense lawyers said they were not yet ready to seek a mistrial, agreeing with the judge that while the jury has had the case for three and a half days, they have essentially deliberated for only about two.
But Aiello's lawyer, Stephen Coffey, did ask for the trial to end, suggesting the fraying nerves of some of the jurors would mean that any verdict reached now would amount to a coerced one subject to reversal on appeal.
The jurors questions so far during deliberations suggest some focus on the testimony of the prosecution's main witness, disgraced lobbyist Todd Howe who detailed how he arranged, and sometimes made, payments to Percoco's wife from the other defendants.
Howe spent seven days on the witness stand, and was even arrested during that time when his bail was revoked because he had acknowledged violating his cooperation agreement with the government.
A mistrial would force prosecutors to again rely on Howe before a new jury.
In the fall, the U.S. Attorney's Office was dealt a blow when jurors failed to reach a verdict against Norman Seabrook, the head of New York City's corrections officers union, in a bribery case.
Prosecutors in that case also relied almost exclusively on an unsympathetic cooperator.