Lawmakers call for investigation into Hochul administration for buying COVID tests at raised prices
Two state lawmakers are demanding an investigation into the Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration for buying COVID tests from one of her biggest campaign donors and at a much higher price than what most tests were going for at the time.
Rep. Kevin Byrne (Mahopac) and Mike Lawler (Pearl River) say Hochul's administration awarded hundreds of millions of dollars in state contracts to Digital Gadgets -- a big campaign donor. They added the state bought tests from the company at $12.25 per test when most tests were selling at about $5 a kit. Digital Gadgets' owner and his family donated $300,000 to the Hochul campaign.
“Gov. Hochul did not oversee the procurement process and was not involved in the day-to-day procurement decisions,” Hochul’s office said in a press release. “She simply instructed her team to purchase as many available tests as possible to meet the tremendous need across the state, and they did exactly that to keep New Yorkers safe. As we have always said, campaign donations do not have any influence on government decisions and we reject any implication otherwise.”
Byrne and Lawler are asking Attorney General Letitia James to investigate. News 12 reached out her office to see if it will but have not heard back.