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Report: Rick Scott ‘rookie mistake’ cost taxpayers tens of millions

Florida Governor Rick Scott speaks to the media at the Hillsborough County Public Safety Operations Complex about the preps for Hurricane Irma on Friday, September 8, 2017, in Tampa. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn looks on. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA | Times files (2017)]
Published Jun. 13, 2018
Updated Jun. 13, 2018

Jim DeFede at CBS4 News last night reported on the Rick Scott administration decision to approve emergency contracts for debris removal after Hurricane Irma rather than rely on the contracts already in place.

One of the companies selected had no previous emergency debris removal experience, while more qualified firms were prevented from even submitting bids. When CBS4 News first reported the story in October, it was apparent the new contracts were going to make the clean up more expensive.

We now know how much more.

"The Governor's emergency contracts will end up costing taxpayers an additional $28 to $30 million, according to an analysis by CBS4 News….

And those numbers could grow….

See the full report here

From the governor's office: "It is inaccurate to compare pre-disaster contracts with emergency debris removal contracts – it is comparing apples to oranges and must be reflected in your story."

"It is the State's responsibility to clear U.S. 1 following a storm, like Hurricane Irma because it is a state road. Clearing U.S. 1, which was accomplished in just a matter of days, was absolutely critical for the entire Keys community. Due to the critical need of this roadway, this service was provided at no cost to the local government and at the request of the local government. 90% of this cost is reimbursable through FEMA."