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O’Mara, Palumbo name for legislative investigation into Hochul contracting practices

New Yorkers – who paintings onerous on a daily basis and transfer this state ahead – are in poor health and uninterested in gazing the similar corruption nightmare repeat in Albany.

ALBANY, NY – Republican Contributors of the New York State Senate Committee on Investigations and Govt Operations, Senator Tom O’Mara and Senator Anthony Palumbo, these days known as on Committee Chairman James Skoufis to open a right away investigation into the Hochul Virtual Devices Contract Scandal and the Governor’s slow-walked “after-action Covid evaluate.”

“Governor Hochul’s outdoor marketing consultant – being employed through her personal management – to habits an ‘After-Motion Assessment’ of the state’s pandemic reaction obviously won’t do. The company to habits this so-called ‘outdoor’ evaluate isn’t being employed till someday this month with paintings most effective to start after Election Day. Sufficient of the slow-walking. We want solutions and we want solutions now. The overall tale of this contract and all emergency contracts want to be delivered to gentle through a complete investigation now,” mentioned Senator Tom O’Mara, Rating Member of the Senate Investigations and Govt Operations Committee.

“Senate Democrats have now not strengthened ethics – they have got strengthened corruption. An apprehension of preserving their very own birthday party responsible has blinded them from doing the fitting factor. As individuals of the Investigations Committee, we’re right here to hunt the reality on behalf of all New Yorkers. Irrespective of political birthday party association, our center of attention will have to be ethics, reality, and responsibility. Governor Hochul’s contract with Virtual Devices has raised very critical questions – let’s to find the solutions,” mentioned Senator Anthony Palumbo, Member of the Senate Investigations and Govt Operations Committee.

Ultimate week, it was once reported once more that Governor Kathy Hochul’s deal for COVID-19 assessments with a significant marketing campaign donor has left taxpayers at the hook for hundreds of thousands. The State of California paid 45 p.c much less for a similar COVID-19 assessments that New York acquired via this contract. In line with the file, if New York had paid an identical quantity as California, it could have stored taxpayers $286 million.

It was once reported these days that the founding father of the corporate that landed the maintain the Hochul management threw a fundraiser for her only a week previous to the contract being signed. 4 days after the fundraiser, the Governor declared a statewide emergency, which allowed her management to keep away from the usual state bidding procedure and reliable oversight carried out from the Place of job of the Comptroller for the buying of the Virtual Devices COVID-19 Exams.

Senate Republicans and stakeholders have known as at the Governor for over a yr to permit for an impartial fee with subpoena energy to habits an after-action evaluate of New York’s Covid Reaction. Coincidentally, Governor Hochul might be handpicking an out of doors marketing consultant to do an after motion evaluate with effects to not be to be had until after Election Day. The company might be reporting at once to the Governor, now not the general public. The new tales of conceivable pay-to-play corruption raises additional questions in regards to the Governor’s slow-walking in this introduced evaluate of the state’s pandemic reaction.

Any investigation would want to resolution a sequence of questions:

> Who negotiated the Virtual Devices COVID-19 Checking out contract? Used to be the Governor at once concerned?

> Is the Governor conscious {that a} more youthful member of the corporate founder’s circle of relatives started operating as a paid intern for Hochul’s marketing campaign fundraising team of workers in November?

> Is the Governor conscious that New York Town below the previous de Blasio management needed to cancel a $91 Million ventilator contract with Virtual Devices, when they did not ship the products?

> Will the after-action Covid evaluate contract want the State Comptroller’s approval? Or will or not it’s signed just like the emergency contracts had been signed?

> Will this after-action evaluate read about all emergency contracts, together with the Virtual Devices COVID-19 Checking out contract?

“New Yorkers – who paintings onerous on a daily basis and transfer this state ahead – are in poor health and uninterested in gazing the similar corruption nightmare repeat in Albany. We want a whole recovery of ethics in our State Capital and that begins with Senate Democrats starting up a Senate Investigations Committee Procedure for responsibility – now not protecting for their very own birthday party pursuits,” concluded Rating Member O’Mara.

 

https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/articles/2022/thomas-f-omara/omara-palumbo-call-legislative-investigation-hochul