Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s bid for a third term got a possibly illegal boost at the annual NYC Pride March — when a state Department of Transportation truck was used to distribute campaign signs.
An unidentified man in the state vehicle was caught on camera by The Post Sunday afternoon handing out rainbow-themed placards bearing Cuomo’s name, a heart symbol and the message “NY Stands with the LGBTQ Community.”
The photo shows a young woman grabbing a sheaf of the signs from the man as the truck trailed two black SUVs along the parade route.
The Post also saw a young man do the same thing, and about six young people then gave the signs to spectators lining Fifth Avenue near West 25th Street.
Ethics lawyer David Grandeau, who headed the now-defunct Temporary State Commission on Lobbying, said the photo clearly shows the illegal use of a state vehicle for political purposes.
“You can’t use state resources for campaign purposes,” he said. “That’s a violation of the Public Officers Law.”
Grandeau also said it’s illegal for government employees to electioneer on the job — and while they can do so on their own time, “that would be tough to do in a state vehicle.”
Democratic primary challenger Cynthia Nixon’s campaign called the incident Cuomo’s latest abuse of power.
“The governor repeatedly has used government resources to campaign, which I suppose is unsurprising given that he’s had top aides on trial for corruption already this spring,” spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said.
The campaign of the GOP candidate, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, said Cuomo “continues to arrogantly and blatantly ignore right from wrong.”
Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi admitted that Cuomo’s campaign paid for the signs but claimed no laws were broken.
“The law clearly spells out the appropriate use of campaign funds and this falls firmly under that,” Azzopardi said.
“It was an official event and he can use campaign funds to support the functions of the office, and that’s what we did to spare taxpayers the expense.”
The DOT wouldn’t comment.
Additional reporting by Kirstan Conley
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