Accountability sought in attorney general probe of migrant contractor

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Leaders in the Capital Region are responding after the New York State Attorney General’s Office confirmed it was investigating the migrant contractor DocGo. One lawmaker told NewsChannel 13 he anticipated “serious consequences” for the company’s handling of migrant arrivals.

The investigation is overdue, said officials and lawmakers in Albany and Schenectady counties, but necessary to prevent another upstate community from experiencing a chaotic arrival of migrants. 

Communication with DocGo had improved over recent weeks, according to Albany County Executive Dan McCoy. He and others called the company out on Aug. 8 for a lack of communication about the migrants living in local hotels and what officials said was substandard food and conditions provided for migrants.  

Several Republican lawmakers in Albany County wrote a letter to Attorney General Letitia James on Aug. 2, asking her to investigate a number of concerns with DocGo.  

“I’m a lot happier today than I was in the beginning,” McCoy said Tuesday. “The CEO did meet with my staff last week. Things have gotten better. We’re finally getting clear cut information of what we needed.”

McCoy welcomed news that the State Attorney General’s Office would look into whether the company is following the law and following its agreement with New York City.

“This is long overdue, to get a $435 million contract, no-bid, and again, I’m not saying anything negative about DocGo, but in government, we have to go through that, we have to make sure we cross our T’s and dot our I’s, and we’re meeting that obligation of a contract that size,” he said.

It’s not just the treatment of migrants that lawmakers want investigated. It’s also how locals were treated to make room for migrants.

“That is a point that I’m asking the attorney general to look into with this investigation – to look into the legalities of what I think are illegal evictions. With less than an hour’s notice, being thrown out of your home, I can’t imagine going through that situation,” said Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara (D – Rotterdam).

NewsChannel 13 reported residents were kicked out of the Super 8 Motel with little notice to make room for migrants, surprising lawmakers as much as it did people living there.

Santabarbara said his office has been working with the attorney general’s office to share information about the disorganized arrival of migrants to the motel where others had been living.

“We can’t allow a situation like this to happen again,” Santabarbara said.

He wants the investigation to set an example.

“And now with the attorney general involved, I’m confident there will be serious consequences,” he said.

DocGo sent NewsChannel 13 this statement:

“Yesterday, we received a letter from the AG with a request for basic information to understand the scope of our services and how we ensure compliance with applicable law. Since the launch of our program, we’ve worked with government partners to ensure we are delivering excellent, compassionate care to asylum seekers. DocGo’s asylee sites have received many visits from multiple city and state oversight agencies since our contract began, and we’ve always cooperated in a fully transparent manner. We look forward to working with the AG’s office in the same manner and providing the requested information expeditiously.”