New York Is Winding Down Contract With Migrant Services Operator

New York City will soon part ways with DocGo, which has provided services to migrants under a lucrative $432 million contract, city officials said Tuesday.

Last spring, the company, a medical services provider that had multimillion-dollar contracts to provide Covid tests and vaccinations, landed a no-bid contract to house and care for migrants in the city and upstate despite having no broad experience dealing with asylum seekers.

But the company quickly faced allegations that its employees or subcontractors had mistreated and lied to migrants, provided them with fake work papers, wasted staggering amounts of food and hired unlicensed security guards. In the wake of reporting by The New York Times and other news outlets, Attorney General Letitia James started an investigation into DocGo over possible violations of state or federal laws regarding the treatment of people in its care.

In a written statement Tuesday, as first reported by Politico, Mayor Eric Adams’s chief of staff, Camille Joseph Varlack, said the city would not renew DocGo’s contract to house and care for migrants in New York City hotels when it expires in early May, one year after it took effect. A Texas-based company, Garner Environmental Services, will take over those services temporarily — at a cost of $10 less per person, per night than DocGo receives, officials said.

“This will ultimately allow the city to save more money and will allow others, including nonprofits and internationally recognized resettlement providers, to apply to do this critical work, and ensures we are continuing to use city funds as efficiently and effectively as possible,” Ms. Varlack said.

The city will begin a competitive bidding process to find a new provider to take over the work.

But Ms. Varlack said the city was working on a temporary contract extension for DocGo’s services upstate in order to minimize disruptions to the 1,800 or so migrants, including school-age children, who are in DocGo’s care at cut-rate motels from Westchester County to Buffalo. City Hall says the extension will last until a new provider is selected in the competitive bidding process.

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