NY’s Hochul and Heastie ‘abused’ power to throw party at Buffalo Bill luxury suite: complaint

Gov. Kathy Hochul and other top New York Democrats are accused of turning a luxury suite at Buffalo Bills Stadium into a private party room during a big game last year, The Washington Post has learned .

A complaint alleges that Hohur, Speaker Carl Heastie and Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes took over VIP luxury suites for a game against the Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 17, 2023, as guests The list includes a filing with state ethics regulators by a lobbyist who was romantically involved with Heastie.

Attorney David Grandeau said in a March 28 letter to The New York Times: “It is clear that public officials obtained the use of boxes and tickets for themselves and their guests for private gain and/or or nongovernmental purposes.” Council on Government Ethics and Lobbying.

Gov. Kathy Hochul and other top New York state Democrats have been accused of converting luxury suites at Buffalo Bills Stadium into private party rooms. ZUMAPRESS.com

Grando, who previously served as New York State’s chief regulator of the lobbying industry, added, “They clearly abused their power to create valuable benefits for themselves and their lobbyists that are not available to ordinary New York citizens and taxpayers.”

Heastie’s alleged girlfriend Rebecca LaMorte, lobbyist and college friend Patrick Jenkins Jenkins’ wife, Dawn Cote-Jenkins, was also in the suite at Highmark Stadium.

Hochul, a Buffalo native, is a die-hard Bills fan.

Lamott is listed on a state report as “self-employed,” not a lobbyist, which is just later revealed New York Focus reports that she is dating Heastie.

Vujicic’s husband, William HochulA former top executive at Buffalo Bills franchise owner Delaware North also sat as a guest of the governor in the state’s cozy “I Love New York” suite controlled by the Empire State Development Corporation.

Economic development agencies report to the governor.

Hochul, a Buffalo native, is a die-hard Bills fan, while Heastie, a native of the Bronx, and Jenkins, of Queens, are fans of the Dallas Cowboys.

Hochul said in a statement on X that Heastie’s presence in the stadium suite had more to do with them Bills vs. Cowboys Rivalry than any official business.

Hochul’s husband, William Hochul, is a former senior executive with the Buffalo Bills franchise. Kevin C. Downs, New York Post

“As Buffalonians, @CPeoplesStokes and I both believe in tolerance for those who disagree…which is why we decided to allow a certain @dallascowboys fan to join us at a @BuffaloBills game,” Hochul said of the outfit Heastie in denim jacket when talking and capped.

“Sorry about the score, @CarlHeastie! Let’s go to Buffalo!” the governor’s crowd saw the Bills win 31-10.

The state’s ethics and lobbying panel acknowledged receiving Grando’s complaint.

“Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention,” the commission’s investigative arm said.

The 16-seat VIP suite is operated by ESD and is designed to help boost or boost New York’s economy.

As the Washington Post previously reported, Tom Perez, President Biden’s top aides sat in the state suite during the Bills’ playoff game against the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs on Jan. 21.

this report submitter Charitable donations from Hochuls, Hastie, LaMorte, Jenkins and others were equal to the value of the seats in the 16-seat suite, ESD said when it visited the suite during a Bills game last season.

But Grando claimed the fact they both made charitable donations proved they were competing for personal gain rather than in an official capacity.

Grandeux also told the Washington Post, “What was lobbyist Patrick Jenkins doing in the suite? How did he get in?

“This is a simple case. You can’t use your government position to see your favorite team in a luxury box. It’s wrong. Enough is enough,” he said.

Hochul’s office insists she did everything by the book.

“Following guidelines governing the use of ESD suites, Governor Hochul gathered with members of the Amherst Chamber of Commerce and Western New York leaders at the Bills Game to discuss infrastructure and economic growth in the region. The Governor complied with the guidelines regarding use of All state guidelines for the space, including paying $531.00 from personal funds to pay for tickets,” said Hochul of host Avi Small.

The Bills determined the value of Bills game tickets at $177.00, and Hochul donated $531.00 to FeedMore WNY.

AJ Baynes, CEO of the Amherst Business Group, said Hochul’s presence in the suite “enabled a very productive discussion about infrastructure that is critical to the future of the Town of Amherst.”

Heastie’s office declined to comment.

ESD moderator Matthew Gorton said Heastie’s office requested use of the suite and ESD “honored it as a courtesy.”

“Prior to the game, all guests are informed of the rules regarding lobbyist attendance and public reporting requirements,” Neutral added.

While Hochul said she paid $531 for a ticket, a luxury suite for a Buffalo Bills regular-season home game can cost between $9,000 and $30,000, depending on the opponent, date and suite, according to Suite Experience Group.

Grandeau scoffed at the low ticket prices for the state’s “I Love New York” suites.

Earlier Governor David Patterson In 2011, he was fined $62,150 to settle an ethics investigation for using his position to obtain Yankees tickets.

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