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Low-lights of biggest recovery contractor

Low-lights of the biggest contractor in NJ's botched Sandy recovery program (from news media):


.....Spring 2013 - A NJ law firm that represents Hammerman & Gainer Inc. (HGI) donated $25,000 to the Republican Governors Association, which is now headed by Chris Christie. One of the governor's confidants, Glenn Paulsen, is a member of the law firm, which is prohibited from donating more than $300 to Christie's political campaign. (The Governors Association subsequently donated $1.7 million to Christie's campaign.)




.....May 2013 - HGI was awarded a $68-million-dollar contract to accept and process applications from storm victims seeking grants to rebuild their homes. New Jersey hired the company even though it was criticized for its performance in Louisiana's recovery from Hurricane Katrina. 


.....Summer and Fall 2013 - Sandy victims had trouble getting basic questions answered by HGI staff members. Many victims complained that their applications were lost, staff members changed frequently and the program requirements kept changing.



.....December 2013 - The state secretly terminated HGI's 3-year contract after 7 months.



.....January 2014 - The state secretly extended the contract to January 20th. HGI charged $51 million for less than 8 months' work on the 3-year, $68 million contract.  (Several weeks after the initial termination, the state finally publicly admitted that HGI was history, with no clear explanation.)




.....Winter 2014 - An analysis revealed that 3/4 of all those who appealed denial of federal Sandy aid from the state's RREM and Resettlement programs wound up winning their appeals, raising new questions about the distribution of funds. Thousands more did not file appeals after being rejected.




Conclusion:  A politically connected firm added insult to injury in the aftermath of Sandy. 

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