Guilty verdict for Percoco, Coeymans police respond to outrage over raccoon incident, Stefanik and the House intelligence committee, leaving and holding a state job

Percoco trial verdict
+ The jury in the federal corruption case involving former top Cuomo admin official Joe Percoco found Percoco guilty on three charges for soliciting and accepting bribes from two companies in exchange for influence on business connected to state government. [US DOJ] [NYT]
+ An executive with the Syracuse-area company Cor Development was also found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud. []
+ Andrew Cuomo called the verdict "personally painful" because of his longtime close relationship with Percoco, "however, we must learn from what happened and put additional safeguards in place to secure the public trust. Anything less is unacceptable." Cue speculation about to the degree to which the conviction hurts Cuomo's re-election campaign. [TU] [NYT]
+ State Senator -- and a Republican gubernatorial candidate -- John DeFrancisco: "With or without the conviction, this is a pretty good indication that we need a change at the top." [State of Politics]

Coeymans raccoon
+ From a Coeymans Police Department statement on the incident in which officers ran down a rabid raccoon in a shopping plaza parking lot: "We understand that this is not easy to watch, however The Town of Coeymans Police Department, and the Officers involved acted without malice or contempt, and without another remedy acted only with the Publics wellbeing in mind. Based on the above it was the safest way to remove the immediate hazard, given the circumstances presented." [CPD Facebook]
+ The state Department of Health says tests indicate the raccoon was rabid. [TU]
+ Mohawk Hudson Humane Society president Todd Cramer said he was "instantly sickened and appalled" by the video and said there were other options police could have used. The acting CPD chief said the department will work to develop different procedures for similar situations in the future. [Spectrum] [WNYT]


Train derailment
A freight train derailed Wednesday morning in Rotterdam Junction, blocking traffic on Route 5S. [TU]

Cole crash trial
Regina Cole -- the wife of John W. Cole -- testified at his trial Tuesday that he appeared "definitely fine to drive" ahead of the crash. State Police had previously reported Cole had a BAC of .10, but the result has been ruled inadmissible at the trial. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Schenectady councilman investigation
Schenectady police say they're investigating a report of an altercation involving city council member John Mootooveren at a bar. His attorney says a man was upset about not getting a zoning variance. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Gas station credit card skimmer
Schenectady police say what look like credit card skimming devices were found in two pumps at the Sunoco gas station on Erie Boulevard. And they're asking local gas stations to examine for their pumps for signs they've been tampered with. [WNYT] [TU]

Elise Stefanik and the House intelligence committee
Elise Stefanik on Monday on her work with the House intelligence committee and its investigation of possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russia: "We've been at this over year, collected thousands of documents, but the investigation was politicized and that affected our ability to get to the facts." Republican leaders of the committee said Monday they found no evidence of collusion. And in a statement, she said she is "an outspoken supporter of the Mueller investigation." [TU] [NYT] [Daily Gazette]

Proposed fee for upstate ride hailing
The state Assembly's one-house budget includes a new $1 fee for rides with services such as Uber and Lyft. [TU]

Leaving and holding state jobs
PEF is criticizing the practice of using repeated "leaves" to allow state employees to take non-union management jobs in order to maintain a fallback job in a civil service position. [TU]

Colonie landfill
Colonie's public works engineer says the town has addressed DEC concerns about leaks and odors from the town's landfill, which is nearing capacity. [TU]

Gideon Putnam
The target re-opening of the Gideon Putnam has been pushed back to May.

A Saratoga Springs video games company has been acquired by a South Korean games studio. [Biz Review]

8 Thurlow Terrace
A quick look at the plan to turn 8 Thurlow Terrace near Washington Park in Albany into a boutique hotel. [Biz Review]


If you have some time, read the Facebook post by Coeyman's Police Department regarding their actions regarding the rapid raccoon. Try not to see mental images of Rosco Purvis Coltrane, Enos Strate, and Cletus Hogg...

Public: How do you stand on this issue Elise?
Elise Stefanik: Let me get back to you.
Elise to Paul Ryan: How do I stand on this issue Paul?

I toured 8 Thurlow Terrace maybe 20 or 25 years ago, and I remember that it was beautiful inside. If turning it into a boutique hotel means that the building's historic features will be preserved, I'm all for it. I'd call it "The Thurlow."

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