Senator Barbara Buono released this statement regarding allegations of overcharging by AshBritt Inc. for Hurricane Sandy debris removal. Assembly Budget Committee chair Vincent Prieto says he plans to look into how the Florida company got a $100 million no-bid contract for Sandy cleanup, and how the firm aligned itself with several well-placed Republicans and Democrats to also sell its services to towns in New Jersey.
"I am deeply concerned by the continued allegations that the no bid contract to remove debris caused by Hurricane Sandy has led to the waste of taxpayer dollars. Today, yet another article raises serious questions about why AshBritt Inc., a Florida-based firm, was given a $100 million statewide contract despite charging nearly four times as much for its services than alternative local solutions. Both Point Pleasant Borough and Wall Township have found local options to remove debris at a fraction of price charged by AshBritt Inc.
"The citizens of New Jersey deserve to know why an out-of-state corporation that is overcharging New Jerseyans was selected to do projects that can be done by local workers. To that end, I have asked Senator Sweeney to appoint a Senate Legislative Oversight Committee to investigate the bidding process and higher costs. In addition, I am in the process of filing an open public records request to determine whether taxpayers' money is being spent fairly and efficiently. New Jerseyans should get the truth."