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Sweeney Calls For Probe Of No-Bid Contract For Sandy Debris Cleanup

Senate President Steve Sweeney (Credit: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us)

Senate President Steve Sweeney (Credit: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us)

Superstorm Sandy

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney has called for a panel to investigate a no-bid contract for debris cleanup awarded by the Christie administration after Superstorm Sandy.

Sweeney, the state’s most powerful Democrat, on Monday asked the Senate Legislative Oversight committee to examine the state’s $100 million contract with AshBritt Inc. of Florida.

Sweeney also called for tighter controls over interactions between lobbyists and local officials following a report in The Star-Ledger of Newark that AshBritt subcontracted with politically connected lobbyists to help it get additional debris-removal work from stricken municipalities.

Gov. Chris Christie encouraged towns to contract with AshBritt as well, and 43 ultimately signed on.

The legislative committee will look at the firm’s rates and why business and environmental regulations needed to be waived.

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