Fla. company failed to deliver on Puerto Rico relief contracts: report
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An unproven Florida company failed to deliver emergency supplies to Puerto Rico to help rebuild homes following the devastation of Hurricane Maria, The Associated Press reports.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had awarded $30 million in federal contracts to Bronze Star LLC to provide tarps and other materials to residents needing to temporarily patch their homes.

FEMA has canceled the contracts without paying any money, but it took nearly four weeks for the agency to cancel the contract, keeping the valuable disaster relief funds from being used elsewhere.


While an agency spokesman told The AP that FEMA has properly vetted companies helping in the recovery effort, Bronze Star, a small family company started in August, has never before been awarded a government contract or supplied plastic tarps. 

FEMA canceled the contracts on Nov. 6, and is now beginning a new effort to provide these supplies to the island. Bronze Star reportedly beat out bids by over half a dozen other companies for the two contracts to supply 500,000 tarps and 60,000 rolls of plastic sheeting.

Brothers Kayon and Richard Jones, the two military veterans who started the company, eventually told FEMA they could not hold up their end of the contract due to supply issues. 

FEMA then told the brothers it would hold them responsible for $9.3 million in damages unless they signed a waiver freeing the U.S. of any responsibility for the issue, which they agreed to. 

The setback comes as thousands of Puerto Ricans are still struggling to regain key resources months after the hurricane landed, with many still without electricity.

As of Tuesday, the Puerto Rico government reported that more than 40 percent of the island remained without power.

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersNewsom endorses Kamala Harris for president Business, conservative groups slam Trump’s national emergency declaration Poll: Sanders, Biden seen as most popular second choices in Dem primary MORE (I-Vt.) unveiled a new $146 billion funding package for Puerto Rico on Tuesday that would provide the island immediate relief and invest in more reliable energy grid powered by renewable sources for the future.