Long Island Rep. Tom Suozzi referred to as for a probe into whether or not Gov. Kathy Hochul misused state plane 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 exhibiting a clip of Hochul pledging open and clear authorities after changing ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who was pressured 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 airplane over 45 days. Campaign occasions have been sprinkled in.
Gov. Kathy Hochul has hosted roughly 64 marketing campaign occasions up to now in her gubernatorial time period.Lev Radin/Pacific Press by way of ZUMA Press Wire
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 plane 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.
Long Island Rep. Tom Suozzi plans on difficult Gov. Kathy Hochul on this yr’s gubernatorial election.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call/Sipa USA
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 evaluation whether or not plane utilization complies with ethics tips.
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 plane for political exercise, her workplace stated.
Long Island Rep. Tom Suozzi recommends state Attorney General Letitia James to dig into Gov. Kathy Hochul’s marketing campaign funds.AP Photo/Richard Drew, File
Attacking governors to be used of official aircrafts is a time-honored apply 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 plane, which he sarcastically referred to as “Air Cuomo.”
But Suozzi’s personal maneuvers have raised eyebrows from authorities watchdogs.
Former Gov. George Pataki was identified for slamming then-Gov. Mario Cuomo for misusing state plane assets.James Messerschmidt
The Post final yr reported that Suozzi used money from his marketing campaign account to pay himself $37,860 in hire for a rental workplace unit he owns in a Glen Cove constructing.
Critics stated it was harking back to how former President Donald Trump billed his marketing campaign handsomely to hire workplace area in Trump Tower, which he owns. The Suozzi marketing campaign stated it paid truthful market hire to Suozzi.