NY exec who landed no-bid contract held fundraiser for Hochul weeks earlier


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A COVID-19 testing provider held a personal fundraiser for New York Gov. Kathy Hochul just a month before closing a hugely lucrative deal to provide testing for the state.

Digital Gadgets LLC founder Charlie Tebele hosted a fundraiser for Hochul on November 22, 2021, the Times-Union reports.

NY GOVERNMENT. HOCHUL UNDER FIRE FOR COVID TEST DEMOCRAT DONOR DEAL WEEK BEFORE ABSENTE VOTES ARE SENT

Governor Kathy Hochul speaks at a news conference August 3, 2022 in New York City.

Governor Kathy Hochul speaks at a news conference August 3, 2022 in New York City.
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Charlie and his wife Nancy Tebele share an apartment with two other Tebeles, James and Leon. James Teble was later selected as the campaign’s finance officer and was paid full-time. On December 16, Leon Tebele donated $20,000 to the Hochul campaign.

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According to the Times-Union, the Tebele family donated a total of around 300,000 US dollars to the Hochul campaign. On Dec. 20, Hochul and Digital Gadgets LLC agreed on a $637 million deal to provide the state with millions of COVID-19 tests.

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New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and Rep. Lee Zeldin

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and Rep. Lee Zeldin
(Getty Images)

The Times Union first reported that California paid 45% less for rapid COVID-19 tests from a prominent Hochul donor than New York State did last winter, when the Omicron variant caught on around the holiday. New York could have saved $286 million if it had paid for that same price as California.

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Records show the Hochul government bought 52 million of the “Carestart” tests manufactured by New Jersey-based company AccessBio for $637 million, averaging $12.25 per test at the expense of the taxpayer cost. Rather than buying the tests directly from AccessBio like California had done, New York went through an intermediary, New Jersey-based distributor Digital Gadgets LLC, the report said.

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The Assembly Chamber during a legislative session at the State Capitol on April 8, 2022 in Albany, New York.

The Assembly Chamber during a legislative session at the State Capitol on April 8, 2022 in Albany, New York.
(AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

Reinvent Albany executive director John Kaehny renewed his call for an investigation into the $637 million in government deals paid to Digital Gadgets, telling the New York Post: “There’s a dark cloud of pay to play hanging about that.”

Fox News’ Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.



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