United States Attorney Preet Bharara feels emboldened, sources say, following the conviction of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver — on all of seven corruption charges. Despite lacking a “smoking gun” to constitute an explicit quid pro quo, the jury handed Bharara a sweeping win. Such is the public’s appetite for corrupt politicians, observers say.
Three sources are confirming that Bharara intends to indict Governor Andrew Cuomo on January 2nd — along with a half dozen associates and former staffers — on public corruption, racketeering, conspiracy, and honest services fraud.
The Chronicle is unable to confirm widespread rumors that the former staffers are Howard Glaser, Joe Percoco and Larry Schwartz.
Glaser resigned in June of last year as Director of State Operations and was thought to be Cuomo’s top aide. Percoco left a $175,000 salary with the Governor on October 25th of this year, and was known as Cuomo’s “political enforcer.”
Schwartz was caught up in the Moreland Commission scandal. He is thought to be guilty of obstruction of justice for actions he took in the hours immediately following Bharara’s confiscation of Moreland Commission documents.
One of the three sources — a longtime Albany insider — says that there are at least three additional targets of the investigation, likely to include Alain Kaloyeros, the head of SUNY Polytech who, at $800,000 per annum, is the highest paid state employee.
The other two men are said to be from Buffalo and have been “involved in the Administration’s economic development deals in particularly unseemly ways,” but the source would not elaborate.