____pictureA former top aide to Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing federal corruption and bribery charges in connection with two companies that were trying to do business with the state.

In a federal complaint released this morning, US Attorney Preet Bharara announced that Joe Percoco and eight others are facing a wide array of criminal charges. Percoco, who served as the governor’s executive secretary, is accused of taking more than $600,000 in bribes from an energy company that needed state approval to build a power plant in the Hudson Valley and an upstate developer that received several state contracts.

In addition, Percoco is accused of getting a job at the energy company for his wife, a former school teacher.
Percoco spent decades as one of the closest friends and aides to the governor, who referred to Percoco as the late Mario Cuomo’s third son.

Time Warner Cable News has reached out to both Percoco and Governor Cuomo for comment.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is also bringing charges against Alain Kaloyeros and Columbia Development head Joseph Niccola. Charges against Kaloyeros will focus on bid rigging.

Bharara will announce the charges at noon, Schneiderman will hold his news conference at 2:30. Tune in to Time Warner Cable News for complete coverage.

UPDATE: Here’s the complaint from the U.S. attorney against Percoco (AKA “Herb”), Kaloyeros (AKA “Dr. K”), Buffalo developer Louis Ciminelli and and five others.

And here’s the complaint against former lobbyist Todd Howe, who has also been a central figure in Bharara’s Buffalo Billion investigation.

Also, Percoco’s attorney issued a statement, saying his client will not plead guilty and calling the case an “overreach.” He also says the prosecution is based on information provided by someone who is “of utterly unreliable credibility” – does he mean Howe?