Did you know that Hammerman and Gainer, a contractor doing the bulk of the Hurricane Sandy reconstruction work, was quietly fired by Gov. Chris Christie, back in December? Me neither!
Turns out an enterprising reporter at New Jersey Public Radio, Matt Katz, just dug up this little nugget by combing the state's website. I couldn't find anything else about it in a Google search.
This politically connected firm's lawyers made a $25K contribution to the Republican Governor's Association, which Christie heads, and the RGA contributed $1.7 Milllion to Christie's reelection campaign.
Drip, drip, drip. Goes the bad news. This is classic New Jersey corruption at its finest and would never have seen the light of day had not Bridgegate ( possibly the 'least' of the scandals legally speaking) shone a bright light on Gov. Christie's shenanigans. The timing of this firing seems to coincide more or less with the unwanted attention Christie's Sandy (campaign) commercials started to attract.
Kornacki and Maddow are tweeting it, so maybe we will see a report on it on her show soon. http://inagist.com/...
Sandy recovery has been the signature achievement of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, yet WNYC has learned his administration quietly terminated its contract with its biggest contractor in charge of getting Sandy victims back in their homes.
The company won its contract last May shortly after its law firm made a $25,000 donation to the Republican Governors Association, which is now headed by Christie and contributed $1.7 million to his re-election campaign. According to the Wall Street Journal, the contractor's law firm is a based in New Jersey and politically connected.
HGI was being paid $68 million in fees to administer a $780 million program. Its performance was widely criticized at legislative hearings in Trenton over the last several months for being inefficient and unhelpful, and for losing paperwork. The contract was terminated in December, and took effect on Monday, but that had not been publicly announced. Documents indicating the arrangement were found on a state web site. The company is to be paid $10.5 million as an "unpaid balance" — and for work performing during a "transition period" following termination.Wall St Journal link:
HGI was also criticized for how it implemented its home reconstruction program in Louisiana after Katrina, according to the Wall Street Journal. Company officials have said they were improving operations.
NJ State website with links to contractors:
Yuck. This is what happens when you start turning over rocks. This is what you find. Eeeeww.
5:32 PM PT: Just as an ulrelated sidenote: Rachel is going to be on David Letterman tonight, so you can get a double shot tonight!