As Gov. Andrew Cuomo gets together and moves out of the Executive Mansion, a New York lawmaker is requiring an investigation into “ludicrous” state contracts given to a public relations firm with close connections to the shamed governor.
In a letter delivered late Thursday, Assemblyman Ron Kim encouraged New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli to “review and delivery all data” on $88 million worth of contracts between the state and Kivvit — a top public relations firm that additionally works with organizations like Google, Citigroup, Tesla and Lyft and which utilizes previous Gov. David Paterson.
The news comes fourteen days after media detailed that Kivvit has been rounding up millions from state bargains that were not dependent upon pre-audits — and the principal legal officer’s investigation tracked down that two ex-Cuomo employees who were then managing directors at the firm aided Cuomo “dishonor and stigmatize” lewd behavior accuser Lindsey Boylan.
“For the firm to be granted a particularly rewarding darling arrangement worth great many dollars is past sketchy,” Kim told information on Kivvit. “In case you were important for an obscure arrangement to serve the governor and took an interest in illicit demonstrations your company ought to quickly be ended and we ought to claw back any contracts.”
The two Kivvit managing directors named in the head legal officer’s investigation as having helped release Boylan’s classified faculty records, Josh Vlasto and Rich Bamberger, were previous Cuomo communications staffers.
The team left Kivvit recently, and the online bio of Kivvit managing partner Maggie Moran — who functioned as Cuomo’s 2018 campaign director yet was not named in the principal legal officer’s report — was unobtrusively refreshed to eliminate all references to the shamed governor.
Kivvit’s contracts with the state of New York incorporate $85 million worth of continuous media purchasing bargains, which the company says get commissions of 4 to 10 percent.
The firm likewise has a progressing $2 million counseling contract with the New York Department of Health — an organization that Kim and different lawmakers have said Cuomo arm-wound into concealing huge number of nursing home coronavirus deaths.
Kivvit has said that Vlasto and Bamberger were acting in a “individual limit” when they helped smear Boylan, and guaranteed that the state contracts were granted after a serious offering process — however Kim, a Democrat from Queens, doesn’t get it.
“It couldn’t finish the smell assessment,” Kim said. “What’s obvious to any individual who’s glancing in from the outside is that this is the governor’s inner circle of people who landed ludicrous contracts.”
“In case there is even a suspicion of defilement we need to promptly end the agreement and potentially investigate clawback provisions,” added Kim, who confronted a blast of bigoted disdain recently after he brought out Cuomo over the governor’s treatment of nursing homes during the pandemic.
Kim said he would have not required the review if The Post hadn’t uncovered Kivvit’s state bargains — and added the officer should deliver all insights concerning the offering process for the contracts the company won, including what different firms submitted bids for the contracts and why Kivvit was picked.
“The contracts referred to were seriously offered in a public, transparent process, and granted in consistence with New York State Finance Law,” a Kivvit representative said Friday.
“We have gotten the letter and are checking on the solicitation,” said DiNapoli representative Matthew Ryan.
Cuomo representative Rich Azzopardi recently excused the possibility that individual relationships helped Kivvit land contracts as “the stupidest thing I at any point heard.”
Vlasto and Bamberger were essential for the governor’s “inner circle” that aided facilitate the governor’s reaction to sexual offense claims, as per the head legal officer’s investigation. The group likewise included news have Chris Cuomo, previous Pete Buttigieg communications director Lis Smith, Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David and Facebook communications manager Dani Lever, among others.
Kim told news that Facebook and the Human Rights Campaign were neglecting to consider their employees responsible for aiding the embarrassment tormented governor — and approached Lever and David to be terminated.
“On the off chance that these elements like Facebook and the Human Rights Campaign are savvy about putting their central goal and their objectives in front of ensuring people like Cuomo employees, they should cut their ties,” Kim said.
He said that “at the very least” Facebook should enlist an external law firm to research Lever’s job exhorting the governor — a stage that was as of late taken by the Human Rights Campaign.