Long Island Rep. Tom Suozzi known as for a probe into whether or not Gov. Kathy Hochul misused state aircraft to advertise her marketing campaign to maintain the chief’s seat.
Suozzi, who’s difficult Hochul in a Democratic major for governor, stated Thursday Hochul ought to comply with have state Attorney General Letitia James conduct an investigation of the Air Hochul journeys.
“If she truly believes in openness and transparency, let’s have the governor refer the matter to the attorney general to investigate and determine if any ethics laws were violated,” Suozzi, a former Nassau County government, stated throughout a press convention held by way of Zoom.
Suozzi’s marketing campaign additionally launched a video during the press briefing and on Twitter displaying a clip of Hochul pledging open and clear authorities after changing ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who was compelled out of workplace final August amid a sexual harassment scandal.
The video then reveals a helicopter and a dizzying zigzag of journeys throughout the state, 45 on a state chopper or aircraft over 45 days. Campaign occasions have been sprinkled in.
Suozzi’s assault of the journeys was triggered by reports in the Albany Times Union final week that questioned the legality of the governor’s use of aircraft for some marketing campaign occasions. Some 64 marketing campaign occasions have been held throughout Hochul’s first 45 days in workplace.
“Let’s have reimbursement to the taxpayers for improper travel,” Suozzi stated.
Hochul’s workplace stated she reimbursed the state $19,949.84 for “mixed used” journeys that included journey for marketing campaign or non-public occasions final Sept. 19, Sept. 24 and Oct. 4.
Beginning in December, Hochul tasked a brand new deputy counsel who oversees ethics, Pei Pei Cheng de-Castro, to assessment whether or not aircraft utilization complies with ethics pointers.
Other mixed-use flights are being reviewed, in keeping with the governor’s workplace.
“Governor Hochul is committed to transparency, accountability, and the highest ethical standards,” stated Hochul spokeswoman Hazel Crampton-Hays.
“The Governor’s new deputy counsel who oversees ethics is completing a thorough review of all aircraft usage and necessary reimbursements identified thus far have been made, and we are creating additional controls and processes to better ensure consistent adherence to the strictest ethical guidelines.”
Hochul additionally reimburses for all mileage in state vehicles associated to political exercise and charters aircraft for political exercise, her workplace stated.
Attacking governors for use of official aircrafts is a time-honored follow within the Empire State.
During the 1994 marketing campaign for governor, Republican George Pataki attacked three-term Democratic incumbent Mario Cuomo’s use of state aircraft, which he sarcastically known as “Air Cuomo.”
But Suozzi’s personal maneuvers have raised eyebrows from authorities watchdogs.
The Post final 12 months reported that Suozzi used money from his marketing campaign account to pay himself $37,860 in lease for a rental workplace unit he owns in a Glen Cove constructing.
Critics stated it was reminiscent of how former President Donald Trump billed his marketing campaign handsomely to lease workplace house in Trump Tower, which he owns. The Suozzi marketing campaign stated it paid honest market lease to Suozzi.