House GOP wants investigation of sweetheart deal between N.Y. governor, donor

Republicans in the House of Representatives are insisting that the Department of Justice review a $637 million deal involving New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office, and a major donor to her campaign.

Hochul became the focus of attention just a few weeks ago when it was revealed that she set up $637 million deal for COVID-19 tests with a company that reportedly was charging nearly double the price offered by other companies.

House Republicans have described that as nothing less than a “blatant misuse” of tax dollars from state residents.

Just the News reported the letter seeking the review was signed by New York Reps. Elise Stefanik, John Katko and Claudia Tenney.

And they pointed out the deal resulted in “stockpiles” of excess tests that now are unused.

The letter to Merrick Garland, Joe Biden’s attorney general, said, “[W]e ask that you use your position within the Department of Justice … to promote transparency in government spending and investigate this potential kickback scheme.”

The deal potential “defrauded taxpayers of millions of dollars,” they charged.

Hochul has said she and her office were unaware of any connection between the company and her donor.

But Just the News had reported only a few weeks ago that Hochul’s administration “agreed to pay a heavily inflated” price for the tests, a “bonanza deal” that ended up benefiting “one of the governor’s major campaign donors.”

“Hochul’s office in December ‘agreed to pay $338 million to Digital Gadgets,’ a New Jersey-based company, for 26 million COVID tests. Ultimately, the state government would shell out $637 million to the company,” the report confirmed.

That company is run by Charlie Tebele, who is a major donor to Hochul with family contributions of nearly $300,000 to her campaign, the Albany Times Union confirmed.

That report said Hochul agreed to pay about $12 per test, while competitors were offering the same products at $7.80 or less.

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