Gov. Ricardo Rossello wants Whitefish contract cancelled ‘immediately’

Puerto Rico's governor is calling for a controversial contract with Whitefish Energy Holdings to be terminated immediately.

Gov. Ricardo Rossello on Sunday asked the Governing Board of the Electric Power Authority to cancel the contract, according to the governor’s official Twitter account.

“There cannot be any distraction that alters the commitment of raising electric system as soon as possible,” Rossello said of the contract, which came under scrutiny last week.

The island will begin coordinating with Florida and New York to reinforce brigades, Rossello said.

Rossello also asked for “a detailed and thorough investigation” into the recruitment process for emergency services, which led to the Whitefish contract, and for the installation of a trustee in the area of procurement and contracts.

The $300 million contract between Puerto Rico’s power utility and the Montana-based energy firm has been criticized in recent days.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who is from the same hometown as Whitefish Energy, said he had “absolutely nothing” to do with the company receiving the contract.

It was also reported the contract bars the government from auditing the costs or profits related to the company’s relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz on Wednesday called for the contract to be voided.

In response, Whitefish Energy said on Twitter, “We’ve got 44 linemen rebuilding power lines in your city & 40 more men just arrived. Do you want us to send them back or keep working?”

The company deleted the tweet and apologized later in the day.

Panorama Hispano is the regional news and information newspaper for Hispanic and other diverse communities.

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