|October 2, 2017
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi today issued investigative subpoenas to three debris-removal companies in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. The subpoenas are being issued pursuant to Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and are part of an ongoing investigation into allegations that debris removal contractors are either failing to perform at pre-storm contract rates, not performing until negotiating higher rates or are slow to perform under existing contracts.
“Sitting debris is a health and safety hazard and needs to be removed as soon as possible—but instead of doing their jobs and helping Floridians recover, apparently some contractors are delaying the work or requesting higher rates,” said Attorney General Bondi. “These subpoenas seek to answer questions about why many communities are continuing to struggle with the hazards of debris while having to contend with rate hikes.”
The office is reviewing contracts and gathering information relating to delays and potential price increases for debris removal by AshBritt, Inc. Two other companies, Ceres Environmental Services, Inc. and DRC Emergency Services Inc. have also been served with investigative subpoenas based on information that they may have also sought increased rates for debris removal. The subpoenas seek documents showing whether the contractors are indeed providing the services under the contract, the estimated time for completion of debris removal, what rates are being charged, and whether these rates have been increased. Also included in the subpoenas are requests for information relating to subcontractors.
In addition to the subpoenas issued today, the office will continue to review contracts and gather more information from other contractors and local officials.
To view Ashbritt’s subpoena, click here.