Puerto Rico gov requests audit into contract awarded to tiny energy company

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The governor of Puerto Rico is requesting an audit into how a small energy company from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s Montana hometown won a multimillion-dollar contract to restore power to Puerto Rico.

Gov. Ricardo Rosselló sent a letter Wednesday to the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general’s office requesting that the office audit how the Whitefish Energy company earned the contract.

{mosads}“I request that your office complete its review of the Whitefish Contract so that a final determination can be made as to the Whitefish Contract and address any other issues regarding the same by Monday, October 30, 2017,” Rosselló wrote in the letter. 

Rosselló said in the letter that Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) representatives had also questioned how the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority had granted the contract to Whitefish.

He said the FEMA representatives said they had additional questions about the contract but that they initially believed it complied with FEMA regulations. 

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz earlier called for the contract with Whitefish Energy be “voided,” calling it “alarming.”

The tiny company reportedly only had two full-time employees when Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico more than a month ago.

Whitefish later threatened to stop its work restoring power to the island over Cruz’s criticism. 

“We’ve got 44 linemen rebuilding power lines in your city & 40 more men just arrived. Do you want us to send them back or keep working?” Whitefish Energy tweeted Wednesday. 

House Democrats are also calling for an investigation into the contract.

Tags Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico DHS Ryan Zinke

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