New York Governor Accused of Pay-to-Play Corruption
(UnitedVoice.com) – New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D) walked into the gubernatorial office amid a sea of scandal. Former Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned in disgrace, leaving the new leader to pick up the pieces and convince the Empire State it could trust her. Unfortunately, a new pay-to-play scandal may undermine any progress she achieved.
New: Gov. Hochul has said she was ‘not aware’ a company that landed $637M in no-bid payments was a campaign donor.
But a month before the huge deal was struck, records show, the head of the company threw a campaign fundraiser for Hochul https://t.co/bccAsXfCQs
— Chris Bragg (@ChrisBragg1) September 20, 2022
Late last year, Hochul’s administration handed a no-bid contract to a company called “Digital Gadgets.” The deal was worth a whopping $637 million for COVID-19 antigen tests for New York residents. The company’s founder, Charlie Tebele, is a staunch supporter who has held high-dollar fundraisers for her at his private residence.
There’s more to the story than a simple no-bid award. Just before the company scooped up the huge bid, Hochul suspended protocols keeping no-bid contracts in check, allowing the transaction to go forward without any oversight. Additionally, the tests cost New York nearly twice as much as California paid for the same units.
Kathy Hochul gave a no-bid $600M+ contract to a top campaign supporter after she unilaterally suspended NY’s competitive bidding law. The same day the donor offered to be the middle man for the COVID tests, Hochul agreed to pay twice the price. Where’s the AG, DA, & Comptroller? https://t.co/OTTpeRMqWP
— Lee Zeldin (@leezeldin) September 20, 2022
The Golden State apparently went directly to the manufacturer and maximized discounts by buying in bulk with no middleman. New York paid Hochul’s donor’s firm, who then purchased the tests, and according to allegations, banked nearly $300 million in profits — a claim the company adamantly denies. Tebele held one of his fundraisers for the new governor just a month before, only four days after changing the rule for contract handouts.
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