Assemblyman Ron Kim of Queens is blowing the whistle on $88 million in state contracts awarded to a politically connected public relations firm.
Kim urged State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli to investigate “ludicrous” state contracts given to Kivvit, a PR firm run by former Andrew Cuomo communications staffers Josh Vlasto and Rich Bamberger.
While both managing directors left Kivvit in August, the firm’s current managing partner, Maggie Moran, was Cuomo’s 2018 campaign director. The Post said Kivvit’s contracts were not subject to regular “pre-audit” procedures.
Taxpayers need to know if Kivvit get those contracts via competitive bidding or on a no-bid basis, and if our $88 million was responsibly spent.
For example, what precisely are the “strategic planning & media buying” services that cost SUNY $10 million? Could that money have been used for student financial aid instead?
Kim deserves praise for exposing this scandal, and legislators in Albany must join him in pressing for a probe. They should urge Governor Kathy Hochul to cancel Kivvit’s contracts if they were obtained via illegal or unethical practices.
Kew Gardens Hills