When Hurricane Katrina struck, Ashbritt Inc. was well-positioned to take advantage of the torrent of government dollars that followed.
The Pompano Beach, Fla., firm had spent years cultivating its relationship with the federal government, contributing tens of thousands of dollars to the Republican Party and, more recently, hiring a powerful firm to lobby the Army Corps of Engineers on "disaster mitigation."
After Katrina hit, Ashbritt was given the largest award to date-- a deal worth up to $1.1 billion from the Corps for debris removal.
It is a story of government ties that is repeated time and again for the winners of the 10 largest Katrina contracts, according to an Associated Press review. At least four of those contracts are now being reviewed for possible waste and abuse...
A chart is provided with the top 10 contracts and their companies' connections. These are the companies:
GULF STREAM COACH INC.
CERES ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES INC.
ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMICAL CORP.
PHILLIPS & JORDAN INC.
LANDSTAR EXPRESS AMERICA INC.
CIRCLE B ENTERPRISES INC.
MORGAN BUILDING & SPAS INC.
CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES
FLEETWOOD ENTERPRISES INC.
The same article is here.
See also "Gulf Coast businesses left out of Katrina-relief spending".