NYC comptroller rejects DocGo’s $432M migrant contract

ALBANY — New York City Comptroller Brad Lander on Wednesday rejected the city’s $432 million contract with DocGo to provide shelter services for migrants, citing numerous problems with the deal and also concerns raised in news reports about the company’s activities.

“My office did not make this decision lightly,” Lander said in a statement Wednesday morning. “After a careful review, we are declining to approve this contract due to numerous outstanding concerns.”

Lander, a Democrat who assumed the position in 2022, had never rejected a contract that was issued on an emergency basis. The contract with the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development was also the largest emergency contract awarded during his time in office, according to public records. 

“There was little evidence to show that this company has the experience to provide the services it has been contracted for,” Lander said.

The rejection initially bars the city from paying DocGo for any work submitted under the contract, according to the comptroller’s office. The city agency could resubmit a less expensive version of the contract or address the concerns detailed in Lander’s letter to the agency.

He raised concerns on both fiscal issues and noted “serious questions were raised about the integrity and responsibility of this vendor and their subcontractors.” 

DocGo has maintained it is working to provide the best services it can during the migrant crisis, which has led to more than 1,800 migrants being bused upstate and housed in hotels, including several in the Capital Region.

Lander’s letter rejecting the contract cited some issues about the publicly traded DocGo’s operations that were highlighted in reporting from the Times Union and the New York Times. He also noted remarks that DocGo CEO Anthony Capone made at an investor conference last month — first reported by the Times Union — that the company’s contract with New York City had positioned it well in a bid for a multi-billion contract with the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

Capone highlighted what he said were the potential financial windfalls of that work as part of a crisis that he predicted will not end soon due to political gridlock.

“If DocGo’s CEO is rooting for a never-ending crisis to maximize revenues on a $432 million contract with New York City and leverage billions of dollars more from the federal government — amidst procurement concerns from our office about vendor selection, vendor responsibility, fiscal capacity and subcontractor selection, as well as several ongoing investigations by other public agencies — HPD may want to reconsider whether this vendor is appropriate for the services described,”  Lander wrote in the letter

The New York Department of State recently sent a letter to two companies has DocGo contracted alleging that their private security guards were not properly licensed. State Attorney General Letitia James also sent a letter to DocGo informing the company that it is conducting an investigation…

Read More: NYC comptroller rejects DocGo’s $432M migrant contract

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