The contract with AshBritt for debris removal has so far cost Shore local governments $125 million in taxpayer dollars.
Lakewood was charged over 2 million dollars for cleanup. Now there is a chance we may not be compensated if FEMA decides that we paid too much. The True estimated cleanup costs should have been closer to 500,000 dollars, so we might be responsible for the remainder.
“In all due respect, you’re running for governor,” said Perkins, who said at the end of the four-hour hearing that he wanted to “retract” his remark.
Friday’s joint hearing, which examined both AshBritt’s performance as well as the contract award, had heavy political overtones that are likely to continue through November, when all 120 seats of the Legislature and the governorship will be at stake.
Christie was not in Trenton Friday; he attended a political event in Palm Beach, Fla. But he has defended the deal, saying many towns in emergent situations needed an option for recovery efforts. Christie also noted that towns were free to pick other contractors.
Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is a founding partner of BGR, a firm that lobbies for AshBritt, and Christie had said AshBritt was recommended to him by Barbour.
The Florida firm also hired a team of influential consultants — including George Gilmore, the Ocean County GOP chairman, to pitch its services to town officials.
Even in trying times, in times of tragic loss, our leaders have the keen ability to use any opportunity to act corrupt and gain from other people's misery.