Cuomo Signs Ethics Law, Faces Questions on Use of State Aircraft
Monday, August 15, 2011 - 05:27 PM
On the same day Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill ensuring state officials follow ethics rules, he was facing questions about his use of state aircraft to and from his Westchester home.
Before starting his vacation, the governor signed into law the Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011, which aims to try and restore public confidence in government by overseeing the conduct of registered lobbyists, requiring legislators to disclose more information about their private businesses, incomes and law firm clients and establishing a new 14-member Joint Commission on Public Ethics.
The Commission will oversee and investigate ethics compliance by lawmakers. The governor will appoint six members, with at least three from a different political party, and legislative leaders will choose eight members.
The bill signing comes as the governor faces some questions about his use of state aircraft to or from his home during his first six months in office, and the required “dead-head” flights by state police back to Albany that aviation industry analysis believed cost over $1,300 per hour.
The Cuomo administration disputed the cost, saying it was too high, but did not disclose the cost of the flights. A spokesman for the governor said the use of the aircraft by Cuomo was due to pressing business in Albany and at home.
Several governors have been questioned about use of state aircraft. Rules require state officials to reimburse the state for “mixed use.”
With the Associated Press