Puerto Rico's deal with Whitefish was shady as hell, new records show - 2017-11-15
Despite warnings from staff and ignoring input from lawyers, Puerto Rico's bankrupt utility signed a massive $300 million contract on October 17 with a tiny, inexperienced Montana company to rebuild its damaged electric grid in the aftermath of the Hurricane Maria disaster.
It was a horrible deal for Puerto Rico — and for US taxpayers expected to foot the bill, as emails, invoices, and reports exchanged between Whitefish Energy and Puerto Rico's public utility company, PREPA, released late Monday by the House Committee on Natural Resources show.
As part of the contract, Whitefish Energy ended up charging Puerto Rico more than double the regular wages for utility crew line workers and higher-than-normal daily meal rates. The energy company also struggled to get equipment to the island, leading the Puerto Rican government to hire expensive charter flights, according to the newly publicized details of the botched deal.