MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Some South Florida debris-removal companies have been served.
Attorney General Pam Bondi served the subpoenas as part of an investigation into allegations the contractors are not living up to their end of the deal.
They are accused of either failing to perform at pre-Hurricane Irma contract rates, not performing until negotiating higher rates or are slow to perform under their existing contracts.
“Sitting debris is a health and safety hazard and needs to be removed as soon as possible—but instead of doing their jobs and helping Floridians recover, apparently some contractors are delaying the work or requesting higher rates,” said Attorney General Bondi.
The office is combing through contracts and gathering info related to the delays and possible price hikes.
The companies served include AshBritt, Inc., Ceres Environmental Services, Inc. and DRC Emergency Services Inc.
When asked if his company had engaged in gouging of any sort, AshBritt’s Chairman Randy Perkins replied “absolutely not.”
Perkins said he welcomes the attorney general’s questions and any investigation. He said back-to-back hurricanes Harvey and Irma have simply been too much to handle.
“There just aren’t enough resources available to go to work in the state of Florida, regardless of who the contractor is,” Perkins said.
David Preus, Vice President of Ceres Environmental Services, issued a statement saying his company’s first priority is meeting its obligations to its customers.
“We are in receipt of the request from the attorney general, and are evaluating the next steps for compliance,” Preus said.
As part of the investigation they want to know whether the contractors are providing the services in their contracts, their estimated time to finish the work, rates being charged and if those rates have increased.
They will also be looking at contracts with subcontractors.