Meet Whitefish Energy, who is charging the government $462 an hour to do electrical work for which it has little experience.

Instead of Help, We’re Sending Corruption & Incompetence to Puerto Rico


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Ted Czajkowski · October 31, 2017 at 6:32 pm

This Company was selected by Puerto Rican government, now you know why they are Bankrupt!!!
Big Government at it’s finest.

Robert Bixler · October 31, 2017 at 6:32 pm

Get a clue, NR! They already had the corruption and incompetence thing nailed down. We did not need to send any there.

Michael Gehri · October 31, 2017 at 6:32 pm

Bullsh-t…Corrup[ion and incompetence took up residence in Puerto Rico before you printed your first article…get your collective head out of your butt…

Maria Alicia Oti · October 31, 2017 at 6:32 pm

The decision to hire this company was made by the Director of PREPA. Are you saying that the Federal government made them hire it?

Paula Peterson · October 31, 2017 at 6:32 pm

I’m glad I followed the comments. Daniel Walford adds some important information that clarifies the cost per hour. As the media is scrutinizing and demonizing Trump’s administration but ignores Uranium One and other scandals. Do your “due diligence”.

Daniel Walford · October 31, 2017 at 6:32 pm

Normal wage for a IBEW
Inside Wirman is $228/hr in local 332.
Linemen get a premium over that.
Foreman gets a premium.
Out of town gets housing allowance.
Out of town gets a per diem.
This job is being manned with IBEW linemen.
Bet you didn’t know we get paid that much!

Kevin Carroll · October 31, 2017 at 6:32 pm

That’s simply not true. The company’s business is one of maintaining a roster of sub contractors that are experienced in their fields. The PR officials who chose this firm clearly stated that they were the only firm who could get there immediately and accepted the terns set forth by PREPA. You’re off base here.

Rosiliana Wilder · October 31, 2017 at 6:32 pm

This was a small business interested in doing the job in Puerto Rico despite the logistics. They went from a few employees to over 300 so that they could do the job as quickly as possible. Unless there is proof of some kind of a kickback to Zinke it is not an issue. Puerto Rico needs more companies to invest their time and help rebuild that island.

Erich Bearup · October 31, 2017 at 6:32 pm

Knowing a few Puerto Ricans they’ve told me that Puerto Rico was already corrupt and the government incompetent.

Chuck Jakubisin · October 31, 2017 at 6:32 pm

NR…the way I understand the issue is that no other companies wanted the job. So media like you keep pushing to get SOMETHING DONE and when someone starts doing the job…BOOM!…the media blindly attacks! Get real NR!

Michael Paulus · October 31, 2017 at 6:32 pm

I live in Whitefish, I know a guy who set up Whitefish Energy’s trucks. I know this, because I saw a pickup in Georgia that said Whitefish Energy on the side, with Montana license plates. I talked to the driver of the pickup. He said it was set up at a company where my friend works. I gave his first name, the driver gave his last name. That’s the first and only time I’ve heard of Whitefish Energy.

Craig Chuhran · October 31, 2017 at 6:32 pm

REAL journalism would tell us who comprises the Board of Directors for Whitefish Energy and what lobby won them the contract. We can’t end corruption reporting sensationalism. Tell the story correctly or stop posting.

James Wynn · October 31, 2017 at 6:32 pm

“The firm [with long time connections to Secry of the Interior Zinke and as pert of its no-bid contract] plans to charge Uncle Stupid more than $300 an hour for a subcontracted lineman and $462 an hour for a subcontracted supervisor. (Subcontractors will make up the bulk of its work force, since — let’s repeat — the firm has two full-time employees.) The company will also charge about $400 per worker in per diem food and housing costs. “

Brian Hardman · October 31, 2017 at 6:32 pm

A lot of you saying Puerto Rico needs to fix itself, but not a word on Texas not having one cent to cleab their mess up, and relying on multi billion dollar taxpayer cash infusions weekly to clean up.

Jennifer Olenn · October 31, 2017 at 6:32 pm

I think the key here is not the cost per worker, but the relative inexperience of the firm with such a large scale rebuild. It’s like setting three hundred million on a table on a windy day and hoping it doesn’t blow away. Expertise and experience, to avoid another total breakdown of the grid, seems essential. If they had won the bid through an open process, great, but they didn’t. Which could put them in over their heads and spell more hardship for PR.

Jeff Barbour · October 31, 2017 at 6:32 pm

Our government as it moves more towards a leftist dictatorship will continue to get more corrupt by thevday. The main reason communist as so brutal to theirbown people is the peoplevsee the corruption and try and fight back. That’s the stage we’re at now.

John Romano · October 31, 2017 at 6:32 pm

this is what government bureacracy does best – incompetence & waste. why anyone would want government run anything is frightening

Fred Rorex · October 31, 2017 at 6:32 pm

They are most spoiled Lazy people I have ever met ,my whole life, tried to train them for two months, I give up they wanted everything for free , they all go to collage for free and we protect them they have no military , police are corrupt, whole island is corrupt !

Donna Dougherty Shaw · October 31, 2017 at 6:32 pm

Rather than look at the Cabinet Secretary for the responsibility for this crony deal, maybe you should look at the NGO which is managing the contracts. While looking into what happened to Trump’s million dollar donation, I found that it had been divided up between 12 different organizations that do disaster relief work. That is what the Clinton Foundation did in Haiti, handed out contracts for repair work. So, find the NGO that manages the contracts.

John Pratchios · October 31, 2017 at 6:32 pm

“Sending corruption and incompetence to Puerto Rico” where they will be met by native grown corruption and incompetence. Watching how the two interact will be quite entertaining. Almost as entertaining as finding relief food and water in dumpsters rather than delivered to hungry and thirsty Puerto Ricans. It is indeed unfortunate as taxpayer’s money is being squandered; but from a political perspective, it is what Puerto Rico has earned from their own handling of incoming aid, internal strikes and everyone trying to benefit themselves by the situation and misery of their neighbors. Their politicians have been criminally negligent; would you really expect any substantive changes?

Steven Jimenez · October 31, 2017 at 6:32 pm

Corruption and incompetence is nothing new to Puerto Rico. It is why it is on the verge of bankruptcy. It also presented the lowest bid. So you are complaining about price, when the next bid was under a double. And though I don’t know much about the company itself, to call out “little experience” is pretty petty. Experienced bankers collapsed our economy and an inexperienced car maker created the most valuable car company in tesla. Fixing Puerto Rico isn’t cheap. Not only did the entire grid collapse from the hurricane; they are antiquated equipment that most likely needs to be completely stripped and replaced.

Peggy Coreia · October 31, 2017 at 6:32 pm

And earlier post on a reputable news site stated $309/hr. Still ridiculous but the point is…these sites inflate everything.

Chuck Swatske · October 31, 2017 at 6:32 pm

Incompetence in Puerto Rico…imagine that ! Still believe this hurricane is the best thing to ever happen to Puerto Rico . They are so happy sure they are doing a dance right now

Marcie Pewterbaugh · October 31, 2017 at 6:32 pm

So, who is responsible for hiring them, and if they can’t do their job, who then is responsible for firing and replacing them….How is this a “we’re sending corruption and incompetence to Puerto Rico” instead of “The Puerto Rican politicians had to fire and replace incompetent electricians attempting to bilk the Government”? When are the politicians in Puerto Rico supposed to be responsible for their reconstruction?

Robert Lee Fidone · October 31, 2017 at 6:32 pm

Again Dont be fooled NR is not a conservative site..Here is one more example, Hey want to blame Trump when there is already an abundance of corruption and incompetence in Puerto Rico.,..and what is the real cost to move your operation to an impoverished island where no one wants to work

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