ALBANY — New York’s top economic development official paid a hefty price to have Gov. Cuomo attend and officiate his daughter’s wedding last year.
Cuomo’s 2017 financial disclosure statement, which was made public this week, showed that Empire State Development President Howard Zemsky paid more than $1,000 to fly Cuomo in a private jet to and from Buffalo so that the governor could officiate at the wedding of his daughter Kayla.
“This was my only daughter’s wedding,” Zemsky told the Daily News Friday. “It was a spectacular day, one of the best days of her life, made only more spectacular by the governor’s attendance and participation.”
Cuomo’s disclosure form, filed with the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, showed only that the cost of the flights was more than $1,000. Zemsky estimated the final cost was about $5,000.
“Obviously, I am not going to ask him to come across the state at taxpayer expense, so I provided transportation,” Zemsky said. “I felt it was the least I could do.”
The governor’s daily schedules showed that on the date of the wedding, Sept. 17, Cuomo was attending an event at the National Women’s Hall of Fame in the Finger Lakes and then flew from there aboard “a private aircraft” to Buffalo for the 6 p.m. wedding at an inn in nearby Orchard Park.
Cuomo co-officiated the ceremony with a rabbi and then, according to his schedule, was airborne again 90 minutes after he arrived, flying home to the Westchester County Airport
“I think it was an extraordinary commitment of his time on a weekend to come and officiate my daughter’s wedding,” Zemsky said, adding that “most people don’t have the opportunity to have the governor officiate their daughter’s wedding.”