AshBritt Defends Sandy Cleanup Contract
By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. March 8, 2013
New Jersey’s contract with a Florida company to remove Sandy debris came in for questioning at a legislative hearing.
Senator Barbara Buono is a Democratic candidate for governor. She’s critical of the Christie administration’s contract with AshBritt.
“It appears to me at this point that the administration went out of its way to give a politically connected out-of-state firm a lucrative no-bid contract at double the price of its competitors.”
AshBritt chief executive Randall Perkins says his company charged more so it could afford to hire New Jersey subcontractors for the cleanup.
“We would have been forced to bring contractors from around the country, and your contractors, your constituents, would have been sitting idle wondering whey they weren’t going to work.”
Perkins expects Jersey towns that contracted with the company will get FEMA reimbursement for the cleanup work.
“We’ve done over $2 billion worth of work, that’s a lot of money, through dozens and dozens of communities, counties, cities, states throughout the country, and not once, not one dollar, has ever been withheld to any of our clients for any work that we’ve done at the various prices that we’ve charged.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean says the administration selected AshBritt because of its experience in debris removal.
“By all accounts that firm performed extremely well and the municipalities they served are happy with their performance.”
Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick also defends the administration’s decision and accuses Democrats of holding the hearing for political gain.
“The hearing today is a political showcase for those who are seeking higher office or for a different office.”