Charlie Tebele

POLITICS: New emails show Hochul’s COVID test pay-to-play still stinks to high heaven

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Gov. Kathy’s Hochul’s rancid COVID-test pay-to-play just keeps getting uglier. Emails have emerged suggesting that Charlie Tebele — who scored a total of $637 million in no-bid contracts to provide New York with tests and whose family ultimately gave some $300,000 to Hochul’s election war chest — was in communication with Hochul on COVID tests weeks before he scored his sweet deal. 

Tebele would have us believe that he and the gov only discussed “community matters” at the fundraising bash the man threw her, but he seemingly included “Covid tests” among the topics he had been “asked to reach out” about on a “follow up” email.

In those emails, Tebele specifically offers his services as a test provider — and bingo, days later he has his massive $338 million payout with zero comptroller oversight, thanks to a special provision of Hochul’s endlessly extended COVID emergency order. 

A month later, he got a re-up worth $299 million. 

Tebele gave $300,000 to Hochul’s campaign.

Tebele says he only emailed the governor’s office about buying tests because he read in The New York Times the state needed them. 

Ha! Believe that and we have a bridge to sell you. Especially because the claim follows absurdity from Hochul about having no idea Tebele was a big time campaign donor at all — despite that fundraiser and her campaign later hiring one of his children.  

Yes, it’s a total coincidence that one email from Tebele generated $637 million for him — thanks largely to the insane markup he charged Empire Staters for each test, more than double what other vendors (i.e. those without cozy political links to Hochul) were getting and well above the retail price despite being sold by the million.  

Albany Dems, of course, are refusing to investigate. “I take her at her word,” said Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins of the governor’s flimsy excuses. And the ugly cycle of sleazy backroom deals goes on and on and on

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