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Key Witness Resumes Testimony In Bribery Trial Of Ex-Cuomo Aide

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A lobbyist resumed testimony at the bribery trial of a former aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Todd Howe testified for a second day Tuesday in Manhattan federal court against his longtime friend, Joseph Percoco. He started the day talking about how he helped arrange a consulting job for Percoco's wife with a client who needed help from the state.

Howe methodically walked the jury through a series of emails. Percoco's wife had been hired by a power company for a no-show job but she hadn't been paid and Howe testified Percoco was "freaking out," WCBS 880's Peter Haskell reported.

Then came word an invoice had been submitted and Howe emailed Percoco, "Ziti gets cleared on the 15th." Ziti is code for money.

The government claims the emails show Percoco was helping the energy company and it contends the payments to Percoco's wife were bribes.

Howe testified after the first check Percoco became more responsive to the company.

The 48-year-old Percoco has pleaded not guilty to charges he accepted over $300,000 in bribes to help three businessmen get favors from New York state.

Percoco's lawyers say he acted legally.

Howe is testifying as the government's chief witness after pleading guilty to multiple crimes including bribery and corruption.

Percoco's lawyer said Howe is lying to get leniency after pleading guilty to charges that could result in decades in prison.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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