FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 2, 2022
AG CANDIDATE MICHAEL HENRY & COMPTROLLER CANDIDATE PAUL RODRIGUEZ DEMAND INVESTIGATION of ‘PAY-TO-PLAY’ CORRUPTION
Henry says Tish James must open immediate investigation; Rodriguez slams DiNapoli for his silence
Albany, NY — Attorney General candidate Michael Henry and Comptroller candidate Paul Rodriguez today demanded that Attorney General Letitia James open an expansive corruption investigation on the heels of yet another Hochul pay-to-play scandal, this time involving a Hochul donor who received a lucrative statewide medicaid transportation contract after heaping over $100,000 on Hochul’s campaign and the state Democrat party’s coffers.
“Letitia James needs to do her job and seek a referral to begin an investigation into the corruption engulfing her ticket–mate Kathy Hochul. It is abhorrent that we continue to see apparent broad daylight corruption, Hochul donor after Hochul donor, Hochul connection after Hochul connection without any action. Corruption might benefit the Hochul campaign, but it comes at a steep cost to taxpayers who ultimately pay the price for this brand of crime. It’s shameful that Albany continues to be the Capital of Corruption,” said Michael Henry.
“Time and time again, Comptroller DiNapoli is complicit in corruption through his silence. This latest case was a contract put out to bid that his office must stop. Other cases have no-bids because of never-ending emergency powers and New Yorkers deserve a comptroller who will raise his voice and demand a thorough accounting and who will put an end to a practice that breeds corruption. I demand that Letitia James investigate this matter,” said Paul Rodriguez.
Scandals stemming from Hochul’s less than year old administration include:
- Medical Answering Services – Owner Russell Maxwell and his fireman husband, Morgan McDole, showered over $100,000 on the Hochul campaign and the state Democrat Party and secured a multi-million dollar contract to run Medicaid transportation statewide. Bid competitors did not donate and lost.
- Penn Station – Steve Roth, who heads Vornado Realty Trust, contributed $69,700 to Hochul after she assumed the role of governor. Now, his real estate company’s set for a $1.2 billion tax break at Penn Station, even though the development is far short of the funding needed to complete the project.
- COVID tests – Charles Tebele and his family members funneled $300,000 to Hochul’s campaign. Tebele’s company Digital Gadgets LLC wound up with $637 million in no-bid contracts for COVID test kits made possible by ongoing emergency powers.
- Connected liquor license denial revered – Paul Millstein, a Hochul donor, emailed the Hochul administration and copied the Hochul campaign regarding a tenant whose liquor license had been denied. Within days the tenant had the liquor license approved. The process typically takes six months. Millstein, a vice president at Douglas Development donated over $5,000 in January. Douglas Development’s founder donated $53,700 in June.
- Buffalo Bills – Kathy Hochul’s husband, general counsel at Delaware North which operates concessions at the current Bills stadium, could benefit when a new stadium is built in Orchard Park. Hochul announced an opaque $1.4 Billion deal to construct a new Bills stadium one day after she froze Seneca Nation bank accounts to extract money for a gaming dispute, leaving residents on the reservation without access to money for food and necessities. The Times Union reported that a top firm lobbied the Governor’s finance head late last year regarding the “Seneca Nation Compact” on behalf of Delaware North.
Hochul’s husband, William Hochul, serves as general counsel to Delaware North, a multi-billion dollar food and hospitality company that operates concessions, dining and private boxes at the stadium. The deal hatched in secret violates her own “recusal memorandum” filed with JCOPE and further appears to breach §74 of the Public Officers Law.
The Attorney General can launch an investigation into the numerous scandals with a referral from the Executive.