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PRESS RELEASE: NYS COMMISSION ON LOBBYING & ETHICS MUST OPEN INVESTIGATION INTO HOCHUL DIRTY DEAL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 11, 2022

NYS COMMISSION ON LOBBYING & ETHICS MUST OPEN INVESTIGATION INTO HOCHUL DIRTY DEAL OVER SERIOUS LAW & LOBBYING VIOLATIONS: ATTORNEY GENERAL CANDIDATE MICHAEL HENRY

Mega-donor Medical Answering Services & its lobbyist met with Hochul administration during procurement period which is prohibited by law; Wound up securing billion a year statewide contract

New York, NY — Attorney General candidate Michael Henry today requested that the New York State Commission on Lobbying and Ethics in Government open an investigation into Medical Answering Services, its lobbyist and the Hochul administration, who met during a prohibited period under State Finance Law while a billion a year statewide contract was out to bid. 

Medical Answering Services, a mega-donor to Hochul, secured the contract in what appears to be another example of pay-to-play corruption.

“Our government is not for sale,” said Michael Henry, New York State Attorney General candidate. “Now, this isn’t only about pay-to-play, it’s about violation of State Finance Law and lobbying regulations which prohibit interaction between a company bidding on a project and the state. Not only should this dirty deal be stopped, but it must be thoroughly investigated or New Yorkers will continue to lose trust in government.”

Russell Maxwell, who owns Medical Answering Services, hosted an in-person fundraiser for Hochul in April, two months before securing the contract. O’Donnell and Associates, the Buffalo lobbyist representing Medical Answering Services, met with the Hochul administration during the period of January and June 2022 to discuss “State non-emergency Medicaid Transportation.”

New York State Finance Law creates a restricted period of interaction with a governmental entity from the time a project is put out to bid to the time the contract is awarded. It specifies that this applies to any governmental entity where one would infer that the bid could be influenced.

“Since Letitia James has failed to do her job and heed my call to open an investigation, I am asking this new body to take this matter seriously and open one. We cannot tolerate corruption in our government,” Henry said.

Henry’s letter to the New York State Commission on Lobbying and Ethics in Government is attached.

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