Cuomo’s best friend, who has also been one of his closest political advisers, was arrested on charges related to what is allegedly a seedy corruption scheme that took place right under the governor’s nose. Percoco was on the take, according to the federal criminal complaint filed by Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. (Through a lawyer, Percoco denied the charges.) In a way, the scheme seems remarkably simple. In 2012, Percoco and his wife, Lisa Toscano-Percoco, a schoolteacher, bought a home in Westchester for eight hundred thousand dollars, which they could not afford on their salaries. So Percoco, according to the complaint, accepted three hundred and fifteen thousand dollars in bribes, mostly laundered through little-work jobs for his wife, from businesses that were seeking state government contracts. This would all be bad enough for the governor—a betrayal of public trust by an intimate adviser. But the story for Cuomo may be considerably worse. The charges suggest that one of his signature initiatives—the Buffalo Billion project, a plan to revitalize that troubled city—is beset by corruption and self-dealing.