Former Cuomo aide Joe Percoco, who was one of nine people arrested on corruption charges last week, works for a potential stakeholder in the governor's latest deal. Zack Fink filed the following report.
Just days after one of his closest friends and former aides Joe Percoco was arrested on corruption charges, Governor Andrew Cuomo once again was looking at transform the former Farley Post Office on Manhattan's West Side to a first-class rail facility.
"The original concept was to have just Amtrak housed there. Now, we'll have Amtrak and the Long Island Rail Road."
Last week, nine people, including Percoco, were arrested on corruption charges stemming from alleged bribery and bid rigging scheme that grew out of Cuomo's signature economic development proposal for upstate New York, the Buffalo Billion.
Percoco currently works for Madison Square Garden, which is located across the street from what will be the new Moynihan Train Hall.
In January, Cuomo was joined by Garden owner Charles Dolan for the initial announcement about moving Penn Station to the post office. One plan being discussed at the time was to build a second entrance to the new station right where the Garden's Theater is currently located.
The Garden would have to agree, of course. But according to Cuomo, that possibility is still being discussed.
"We have an option long-term that we are looking at of purchasing part of the Garden to expand Penn," Cuomo said.
Administration officials maintain that Tuesday's announcement has nothing to do with the Garden and that Percoco's continued employment there is irrelevent. But Cuomo acknowledged that the Garden benefits from the details that he announced at a luncheon sponsored by the Association for a Better New York.
"This in some ways helps the Garden also," Cuomo said. "The better Penn is, the easier it is to get in and out of the Garden."
A spokesperson for the Garden reaffirmed that Percoco continues to work there, adding that "these charges have nothing to do with Mr. Percoco's employment at MSG. We believe Joe is a man of good character."