Top NY Dems Accused of Misusing Power to Host Luxury Event

A formal complaint has been filed against New York Democrats, including Governor Kathy Hochul, for allegedly leveraging their official positions to get a suite for last season’s Buffalo Bills game versus the Dallas Cowboys.

The “I Love New York” suite at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York, was filled with notable figures on December 17, 2023, including New York Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes and New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, among others.

New York’s Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government received the complaint from attorney David Grandeu. According to Grandeu’s letter, public officials used the box and tickets for private or non-governmental gain, benefiting themselves and their guests. He obviously used their position to benefit himself and his associates in the lobbying firm that regular New Yorkers and taxpayers did not have access to.

The Empire State Development Corp. (ESD), subordinate to Hochul, oversees the “I Love New York” suite.

Although Heastie supports the Cowboys, Buffalo native Hochul is a devoted Bills supporter. Last year, the Bills thrashed the Cowboys 31-10 on their route to the playoffs. Hochul and her companions were included in an ESD report about their attendance at the game last season. The report said a charity gift equivalent to the value of the suite tickets was made. According to Hochul’s office, all necessary arrangements were made to sit in the suite throughout the game.

To promote or strengthen New York’s economy, ESD runs the 16-seat VIP suite. On January 21, during the Bills’ playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs—the eventual Super Bowl champions—Tom Perez, President Biden’s Top adviser, sat in the state suite.

The team valued a Bills game ticket at $177.00, and Hochul donated $531.00 to FeedMore WNY.