Key witness in former Cuomo aide's corruption trial arrested after testimony


Howe, a consultant with longtime ties to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, had been considered a major witness for the government's case against Percoco and prominent upstate developers, who are accused of bid rigging and fraud.

In his emails with lead defendant Joseph Percoco, a former top deputy to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Howe allegedly used "ziti" as an Italian-spiced code word for bribes.

A judge signed an order Thursday, saying the government notified him that the revocation of Howe's bail was appropriate at this time.

Howe also admitted that in October 2016, after signing the cooperation agreement, he had tried to get a $600 charge for a stay at New York's Waldorf Astoria hotel removed from his credit card by falsely claiming he had not stayed there. One provision of Howe's agreement was that he "commit no further crimes whatsoever". Over two days of cross-examination, defense attorneys have grilled Howe over his criminal history and significant financial woes and have sought to portray him as untrustworthy.

A spokesman for interim Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey Berman declined to comment.

Howe admitted he lied to the credit card company about a stay in NY at the time he was cooperating with federal prosecutors in the corruption case.

Gitner asked whether Howe thought the prosecutors would throw out his cooperation agreement in light of his admissions.

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Gitner noted Howe had already received a "stern talking-to" for diverting tens of thousands of dollars from an escrow account to pay off debts.

"As you sit here now, do you think they're going to rip it up?"

When asked whether he had been lying to the credit card company, Howe agreed: "I believe so, yes".

"I sure hope not", Howe responded.

Such proceedings are not expected to keep Howe from returning Monday to the witness stand. Howe has pleaded guilty to eight felonies in connection with the corruption case.

But under questioning by Gitner, who represents one of the executives charged in the case, Peter Galbraith Kelly Jr., Howe seemed to admit to lies that the government had not been aware of.