NEW YORK STATE -- The Cuomo administration is disputing an Associated Press report suggesting the Governor cost state taxpayers $13,000 for using state aircrafts to travel to his home in Westchester County.
The AP says aviation analysis helped them arrive at the number. They estimate that it costs $1,300 an hour to operate a state plane or helicopter and they say Cuomo traveled to or from Albany to Westchester County three times during his first six months in office. Administration officials say the figure is too high, but would not offer their own estimate.
Sunday, the AP released documents showing that Cuomo took more than a dozen trips that ended in Westchester. In each case, the aircraft has to be returned to Albany. Rules say an elected official cannot use state resources to commute to work or for other personal gain. If they do so, they are supposed to reimburse the state. Cuomo officials say all the trips were for official state business.
There has been a long history in New York of governors and other officials using state aircrafts to move about the state, some scheduling state business around fundraisers or vacations in order to take advantage of the aircrafts. None of the AP records suggest that Governor Cuomo did anything of the sort.