Open Now
Open Now
Watch now

Hochul meets in secret with billionaire Alexander Rovt who got the state to bail out hospitals

This week, Gov. Kathy Hochul went to a secret meeting at the townhouse of Alexander Rovt on the Upper East Side. Rovt is a billionaire who gave a lot of money to Hochul's campaign and whose hospital network was saved by the state in April.

A source gave The Post a video of Hochul going into Rovt's mansion on East 68th Street on Thursday morning. Hochul is already under fire for being accused of taking campaign donations in exchange for a no-bid, overpriced $637 million COVID test contract.

Rovt, who is 70 years old, is the chairman of the board of One Brooklyn Health Systems Inc. This company runs a network of medical facilities where the coronavirus reportedly spread like wildfire during the first wave of the pandemic, which killed a lot of people.

Its hospitals include the Interfaith Medical Center, Kingsbrook, and Brookdale, all of which are struggling financially.

In April, Hochul and the legislature passed the state budget, which put $1.7 billion into a network of "financially distressed" hospitals. This network includes Rovt's One Brooklyn system.

State records show that Rovt and his wife, Olga, gave Hochul's campaign the maximum amount of money, which was $139,400.

She is running against Rep. Lee Zeldin of Long Island, the Republican candidate for governor, to keep her job as New York's leader after Andrew Cuomo quit last year because of a scandal involving sexual harassment and misconduct.

Gov. Kathy Hochul, under fire for pay to play donations involving a $676 million COVID test kit contract, was seen walking into the Upper East Side townhouse of billionaire industrialist and real estate mogul Alexander Rovt.
Gov. Kathy Hochul was seen walking into the Upper East Side townhouse of billionaire industrialist and real estate mogul Alexander Rovt.
NY Post

Rovt has also owned parts of the Optima Care Smithtown nursing home and the Prime Health Choice home health care agency, where he is on the board of directors. In 2016, he went to then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office to get approval for nursing homes, which he did.

The Hochul administration has also come up with a business plan that could help hospitals connected to Rovt.

The Empire Center for Public Policy said that in July, the state Health Department told NY Presbyterian Weill-Cornell that it would only approve a new $8.4 million heart transplant center in Manhattan if the hospital worked with Rovt's One Brooklyn system or another operator to provide $50 million in primary health care in Brooklyn and Queens.

Bill Hammond, a health analyst at the Empire Center, said of Hochul, "She would be a very valuable person for anyone in the health care industry to know and work with."

Hochul has been under fire for pay to play donations.
NY Post

In a 2021 article about Rovt's business dealings during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Daily Beast said, "The vast domain Rovt built with his state contracts, grants, and approvals was the scene of some of the outbreak's worst violence.

The Ukrainian man made a lot of money selling fertilizer in the old Soviet Union. He and his wife have already given $139,400 to Hochul's campaign, which is the maximum they can give.

He gives a lot of money to good causes, especially Jewish ones. He lost family members in the Holocaust. A person from a charity who met Rovt in his office said that he was with a private security guard who carried a gun.

The mogul owns at least 30 properties in New York, including the 37-story Bankers Trust building at 14 Wall St., which he paid cash for 10 years ago.

In 2005, the businessman bought another house on East 63 Street. Forbes magazine called it his "Man Cave." He tore the place down and rebuilt it with bricks and bulletproof shades that can be pulled down over the windows. It also had a cigar room, 12 bathrooms, and fixtures in the master bathroom that were made of solid 14-karat gold.

He sold it afterward.

Gov. Kathy Hochul walks into apartment building
Rovt and his wife, Olga, donated the maximum $139,400 to Hochul’s campaign.
NY Post

Over the years, the couple has given more than $2 million to candidates, including Donald Trump, Chuck Schumer, Andrew Cuomo, Hillary Clinton, and hundreds of thousands of dollars to the New York State Democratic Committee. They have even given money to bad boys like former Congressman Anthony Weiner and former Councilman Hiram Monserrate.

Rovt is also a big donor to the heart and vascular institute at the troubled Maimonides Medical Center.

The Daily Beast said that when donations from Rovt's friends and businesses were added up, Cuomo's campaign account got a total of $1 million.

Hochul walks into apartment building
Rovt has been a donor for both Hochul and Cuomo.
NY Post

Carl Kruger, a former state senator who was convicted of a crime, also got money from Rovt. Just a few months after he got $9,500 from Rovt, the upper chamber of the state legislature passed a resolution in his honor.

Hochul's campaign and government office didn't say anything about her visit to Rovt's townhouse on Friday, even though they were asked many times what the meeting was about.

Rovt also declined a request for comment.

Rovt was born in Carpathia, which is in the west of Ukraine. At different times, the Hungarians, the Nazis, and then the Soviets all claimed it as their own. He says that he is Carpathian.

Follow us on Google News