The chairman of Ashbritt Inc., the debris pick up company currently under state investigation, accuses the Florida Department of Transportation of quietly asking a handful of companies for bids to help clean up the Florida Keys.
Randy Perkins claims elected leaders are wasting taxpayers money by paying three times more to companies they like for debris cleanup, and he says Ashbritt Inc. is planning to take legal action.
“The prices they awarded under emergency contracts which were for the recorded were never needed, there were pre-positioned contracts in place just like Collier County, and we’re dealing with it,” Perkins said. “I think over the next couple of months, with various procedures in place, you’re going to see a lot of these decisions the FDOT and some do the decisions the governor made, there will be new light shed on that,” Perkins said.
Now, four months later and 3.5 million acres of debris cleaned up in Collier County, Perkins is still dealing with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, whose accusing Ashbritt Inc. of price gouging.
“What the attorney generals office did, in my opinion, is clearly politically motivated,” Perkins said. “This notion of price gouging doesn’t exist, it never existed. There are multiple companies she issues subpoenas to, we’re one of them. I can only speak for our company, and we look forward to getting this cleared up very soon.”
Perkins says he had to renegotiate his contract to keep his workers from leaving his team. He also blames FDOT for the delay in debris collection.
Now, all of Marco Island’s Hurricane Irma storm debris has been collected, and Perkins says Collier is 95 percent done.