DocGo, a medical services company that has a $432 million emergency contract with the city, is now under investigation from state Attorney General Letitia James over allegations of staff mistreating some migrants.
Asked if the investigation surprised him, DocGo CEO Anthony Capone said, “It did. The inquiry is for information about how our policies and procedures work.”
Capone sat down with NY1 to discuss DocGo’s work and criticisms.
“It starts with the basic necessities of being able to provide shelter, food, laundry services, security services, but DocGo’s core competency and what we provide is medical services, licensed social work services, case management services,” Capone said.
According to DocGo, the company manages 15 hotels and nine Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers in New York City.
In the rest of New York, the company manages 13 hotels — a total of 37 sites across the state.
Capone says it relies on vendors for food, security and case work each service comes with a manual for staff to follow.
When asked how the company manages vendors outside of its specialty, Capone said, “policies, procedures that are consistent across the company. Even in areas that it is not a core competency we have to develop in order to hold them accountable.”
But it’s the cases in which those policies are not followed that have put DocGo under scrutiny.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz has said DocGo may have interfered with a local police investigation of a sexual assault involving a migrant.
Capone said DocGo cooperated with the investigation from the start.
A New York Times report on the company’s operations in the Albany area found instances of migrants mistreated and with incorrect information — allegations, Capone said, led to terminations, discipline or retraining.
“Many of these sites, specifically the one in question here in Albany, they launch with sometimes 12, 24, 36-hours notice, so you’re spinning up a site with [an] extraordinary urgency and these issues that happen right at the beginning of those launches.”
Josh Goldfein, attorney at Legal Aid Society, said the organization’s staff has visited DocGo facilities.
“They are, as far as we can tell, providing the service that they were contracted for, but I think the question is whether that’s enough,” Goldfein said. “That we really need is for people to get real case management so they can move on and get out of the shelters.”
A spokesperson for Mayor Adams said in a statement, “DocGo has been a valuable partner in offering services to asylum seekers, including medical care and temporary housing. We take all recent allegations extremely seriously. If requested, we will cooperate with the attorney general’s office to ensure that all city contractors meet the expectations set forth.”
A spokesperson for James did not respond to requests for comment.
Capone said about 6,700 people have left DocGo’s shelters, whether by reuniting with a family member, or they’re eligible for other programs, like long-term housing.