A crooked lobbyist outed as a corrupt, habitual liar during a trial over Albany’s culture of corruption will not testify in a related case alleging bid-rigging for lucrative state development contracts.
Todd Howe was thrown in jail in February after it emerged — while he was on the stand — that he’d tried to defraud his credit card company after signing a cooperation agreement with prosecutors.
Howe had testified against Joseph Percoco, a former top aide to Gov. Cuomo.
Percoco was convicted but Howe’s credibility was destroyed. That presented a problem for the Manhattan Federal prosecutors preparing for the upcoming trial against Alain Kaloyeros, the former head of SUNY Polytechnic Institute, and execs from two upstate New York development companies, the Syracuse-based Cor Development Corp. and Buffalo company, LPCiminelli.
On Tuesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney David Zhou confirmed prosecutors would not call Howe during a discussion about the length of a trial currently scheduled to begin June 11.
“We’re not planning to call Mr. Howe,” Zhou said.
Howe’s absence could shave off a week or two from the trial that was estimated to last four to six weeks.
“I’m proud that the U.S. Attorney’s office has concluded, albeit belatedly, that Todd Howe is not worthy of belief,” said Paul Shechtman, an attorney for former LPCiminelli executive Louis Ciminelli.
Kaloyeros is charged with rigging the bidding process — known as a “request for proposals” or RFP — in favor of the two development companies.
“The government’s theory is the whole thing was a charade to give no-bid contracts to Cor and LPCiminelli,” Judge Valerie Caproni said. “Then they covered it up with this whole Kabuki Theater of an RFP process.”