https://nypost.com/author/priscilla-degregory/and bruce golding
Joseph Percoco’s lawyer broke out the ziti defense during closing arguments at his corruption trial Wednesday — urging jurors not to condemn the former top aide to Gov. Cuomo for using TV gangster slang.
“It’s not the language of criminals just because someone watches ‘The Sopranos’ and picks up phrases from ‘The Sopranos,’” defense lawyer Barry Bohrer said.
Bohrer also tried to blame tainted prosecution witness Todd Howe for Percoco’s use of the term “ziti,” saying: “You’ll find 16 ziti emails and the score is 14 to 2 — 14 instances when Todd Howe mentions the word and two in which Joe does.”“Millions of people would be in jumpsuits for having watched ‘The Sopranos’ and picked up language if that were the case.”
Prosecutors contend the pasta reference was code for the $300,000-plus in bribes Howe allegedly helped Percoco pocket in a “pay-to-play” scheme with two companies doing business with the state.
But Bohrer tried turning those allegations into a joke when he asked the judge to give jurors their lunch break five minutes early.