Kathy Hochul, New York Democrats under fire for using luxury suite to watch Bills game: ‘Abused their power’

A formal complaint has been made against New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and other New York Democrats, who are being accused of using their government positions to see the Buffalo Bills face the Dallas Cowboys in a luxury suite last season.

Hochul was joined by New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and New York Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, among others, in the “I Love New York” suite at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York, to watch the Dec. 17, 2023, game.

Lawyer David Grandeu sent the complaint to the New York State Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government, per the New York Post.

“It is clear that the public officials secured the benefit of the use of the box and the tickets for themselves and their guests for their private benefit and/or non-governmental purposes,” Grandeu’s letter said. 

“They clearly abused their power to generate a valuable perk for themselves and the lobbyists that accompanied that was not available to everyday New York citizens and taxpayers.”

The “I Love New York” suite is controlled by the Empire State Development Corp. (ESD), which reports to Hochul. It’s filled with 16 seats and is used to promote New York’s economy. 

Hochul, a Buffalo native, is a die-hard Bills fan, while Heastie is a Cowboys fan. That was seen on Hochul’s social media the day of the game, when she posted a photo of herself, Heastie and Peoples-Stokes.

“As Buffalonians, @CPeoplesStokes and I both believe in tolerance for those with opposing opinions…and that’s why we decided to allow a certain [Cowboys] fan to join us at the @BuffaloBills game,” she wrote.

“Sorry about the score, @CarlHeastie! Let’s go Buffalo!”

The Bills demolished the Cowboys, 31-10, on their way to the playoffs last season.

ESD filed a report about the attendance of Hochul and her guests during the game last season, saying charitable donations equal to the value of the seats in the suite were made. Hochul’s office told the New York Post that the proper steps were taken to sit in the suite for the game.

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