August 9th, 2023
by Carl Campanile
Enough is enough! New York’s House Republican delegation blasted Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams for awarding billions in “no-bid” emergency contracts to address the migrant crisis — even as Hizzoner claims the cost to help asylum seekers could swell to $12 billion over three years.
Leading the charge, Hudson Valley Rep. Mike Lawler sent a scathing letter on Tuesday to the two Democratic leaders, citing “serious concerns” they have with the current contracts and raising doubts about pumping more federal funds into New York to deal with the crisis.
“These contracts represent a continuing trend of irresponsible spending that will continue to drag down New York,” wrote the freshman congressman.
“While you continue to request federal dollars to address the migrant crisis, the State and City have done nothing to show that these funds will be managed appropriately,” he added.
The letter identifies two NY contracts valued at $1.6 billion in total to two Texas-based firms: Garner Environmental Services and Cotton Commercial, as first reported by the Albany Times Union.
The GOP reps also pointed out the $432 million emergency contract that the Adam administration awarded to DocGo to provide services to migrants the city has sent to upstate hotels. A New York Times article reported complaints that migrants were being misled and mistreated by the company.
House Republican chairwoman and upstate Rep. Elise Stefanik co-signed the letter, as well as House members Nicole Malliotakis, Claudia Tenney, Brandon Williams, Anthony D’Esposito, Nick Langworthy and Marc Molinaro.
Serial lying and indicted Rep. George Santos was not asked to sign the letter.
The GOP lawmakers noted that one of the firms, Garner Environmental Services, contributed $5,000 to her campaign, and cited the no-bid $637 million contract the state previously awarded to Digital Gadgets for COVID-19 testing while owner Charles Tebele and associates raised $300,000 in donations for Hochul’s campaign.
Hochul’s political advisers also hired Tebele’s son, James, to work on her campaign.
“This latest no-bid contract stunt, paired with their disastrous handling of the migrant crisis that they’re shipping all across the state, shows just how unprepared they are for their roles,” Lawler, who opposed the city busing migrants to hotels in his Hudson Valley district, told The Post separately from the letter.
“I hope that New Yorkers are watching this disaster unfold and thinking hard about how their dollars are being spent. With a budget gap looming that may run into the tens of billions of dollars, no-bid contracts handed over to Hochul and Adams donors are the last thing our state needs,” he said.
Hochul’s office said the state Office of General Services awarded the contracts to vendors that already had existing contracts with the federal General Services Administration.
“In response to the unprecedented increase of asylum seekers in New York, Governor Hochul invested $1 billion to assist New York City’s relief efforts and issued an Executive Order allowing the State to provide speedy humanitarian relief,” Hochul spokesman Avi Small.
“The Executive Chamber was not involved in the details of the procurement process,” added Small.
See the full story from the New York Post here.