NYC Mayor Awards $432 Million No Bid Contract to Controversial Organization Despite Litany of Recent Scandals

Mayor Eric Adams remains steadfast in proceeding with a substantial $432 million contract awarded to DocGo, a medical services provider, for the housing and care of migrants in New York. This decision has faced scrutiny from City Comptroller Brad Lander, who voiced concerns about DocGo’s suitability for this role and emphasized their expertise in medical services rather than logistics or social services.

Comptroller Lander, in a returned contract to the city’s Housing Preservation and Development department, cited a lack of evidence regarding DocGo’s qualifications for the contract. Reports highlighting mistreatment and inadequate service provision to asylum-seekers further fueled concerns. However, Mayor Adams dismissed these concerns, stating that DocGo is already executing services under the agreement, including setting up migrant shelters in upstate hotels.

Adding to the complexity, New York Attorney General Letitia James has initiated an investigation into allegations of deception and threats against migrants by DocGo, following a New York Times report. Moreover, the New York Department of State found that over 50 security guards hired by DocGo’s subcontractors lacked proper authorization.

The City Council also conducted a rigorous probe, questioning the adequacy of the city’s vetting process for contractors responsible for a staggering $5 billion to shelter and care for newly arrived migrants. Startlingly, only three of approximately 200 contracts underwent competitive bidding, while 125 contracts were expedited through an emergency contracting system, bypassing regular approval processes.

A recurrent point of contention is DocGo’s pricing, particularly the $170 per hotel room per night or about $5,100 per month paid by the city, which stirred discussions and numerous allegations of overpayment for bulk services.

Transparency remains a pressing concern, as the scope of DocGo’s contractual obligations remains undisclosed, and attempts to obtain the contract through Freedom of Information Law requests have been unsuccessful.

A Times Union story called into question prior statements made to investors by Capone, including the scope of a potential multibillion-dollar contract with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Capone had pegged the contract at about $4 billion, but government sources said it was never that high and is for about half that amount. The company’s spokesman, disputed that Capone misrepresented the contract by citing “facts” for which he declined to provide documentation because he said he was not at liberty to share them.

Capone told investors last month that “we have already signed up over 3,000 asylum-seekers onto New York state Medicaid through United Healthcare.” DocGo’s public relations firm later issued a statement that DocGo “does not enroll anyone in Medicaid programs.” A United Healthcare representative also issued a statement that the insurance company does not have a contract with DocGo. 

A Times Union reported obtained some quotes from the manager of one of the hotels enjoying the windfall of taxpayer money from DocGo, Enrico Capone, who confirmed he was the brother of the aforementioned CEO.

Allegations of hindrance of media access to migrants, discrepancies in statements made by DocGo’s CEO, Anthony Capone, (who was directing funds towards a hotel which his brother has a financial interest) make the overpayment and unfair no-bid-contracts concerns even more troubling. Mayor Adam’s decision to continue with DocGo after the Comptroller’s criticism and these other scandals coming to light is deeply concerning. It seems highly likely that as once more information eventually makes its way into the public domain, there will be more controversies relating to DocGo and Mayor Adams.

A good thing that comes out of this is New York demonstrating its commitment to helping its immigrant population and the willingness of New Yorkers to help its newest neighbors as they arrive. Hopefully, the money the City is putting towards DocGo and other organization will mean that immigrants in New York will have better access to lawyers, medical professionals, and safe housing.

This desperate attempt to put an optimistic spin on this story was completely dashed to bits in a matter of hours. Mayor Adams announced that New York City will start kicking migrants out of NYC shelters before attending a press conference where he was photographed with the new NYPD Robocop the city will be renting to patrol the Time Square Subway Station.

2 responses to “NYC Mayor Awards $432 Million No Bid Contract to Controversial Organization Despite Litany of Recent Scandals”

  1. […] best anecdotal if not totally fabricated. What is troubling is how quickly and loudly the tone of the conversation has changed in the past two months. We saw during COVID how easy it is for fake news and fear can fan flames of […]

  2. […] from South and Central America who have have recently crossed the Mexican border and arrived in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and other major cities. The areas that have been receiving the majority of […]

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