NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A growing number of questions have arisen about a man with close ties to New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
As CBS2’s Brian Conybeare reported, there were new questions surrounding Joe Percoco Thursday about a jumbo loan for a luxury home, in addition to probes into consulting fees and state contracts.
“Joe worked for my father — that’s how far he goes back,” Cuomo said Monday.
Cuomo was talking Percoco, his former top aide, and federal subpoenas into whether Percoco allegedly steered state contracts to companies he was paid by as a consultant.
“Has it been a deeply troubling situation for myself? Certainly — many of his co-workers, and most of all for his family,” Cuomo said.
Now, investigators may also be looking into the gated Percoco family home in South Salem, in northern Westchester County, which Percoco bought for $815,000 in 2012, with an unusually large $800,000 mortgage.
“It would be unusual to see this type of loan,” said White Plains attorney Chris Cabanillas.
Cabanillas specializes in mortgages. He is not involved in the case, but he said it sounds like a sweetheart deal.
“If we’re talking about a typical mortgage that you and I would try to go and apply for, it would be very unlikely we’re going to get such a high loan to value,” Cabanillas said.
According to county records obtained by CBS2, the unusually loan came from a company called GFI mortgage that is owned by Abraham Eisner, one of Cuomo’s campaign donors and an unofficial liaison to the Orthodox Jewish community.
In 2010, Cuomo and his confidential secretary Percoco were greeted by Eisner before a meeting with ultra-Orthodox leaders in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The link brings up questions about Percoco.
“He’s distraught, and his family is distraught,” Cuomo said.
And according to Percoco’s own 2014 financial disclosure form, his wife Lisa was paid between $75,000 and $100,000 as a consultant for a company called Chris Pitts LLC that was reportedly involved in the approval of a controversial power plant under construction in Orange County.
This income came even though Lisa Percoco was a schoolteacher in New York City for several years.
The tangled web is now likely being unraveled by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office.
Percoco is also under investigation amid revelations on his 2014 state mandated financial disclosure statement. The statement said he received $50,000 to $75,000 in consulting fees from COR Development and $20,000 to $50,000 from CHA Consulting, two companies involved with Buffalo Billions, a state-funded upstate revitalization program.
At the same time, he was paid between $100,000 and $150,000 from the Cuomo campaign.
Percoco worked as Cuomo’s executive secretary until early January. He has been one of the governor’s closest advisors and confidants for nearly 30 years, and was thanked for his service during the funeral for Cuomo’s father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo.