Leaders of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee sent a letter today to Justo Gonzalez, Interim Executive Director of PREPA, requesting documents and information to “better understand the scope of alleged corruption in PREPA’s power restoration operations[‘]”
The letter is signed by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT), Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-AR), and Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs Chairman Doug LaMalfa (R-CA).
PREPA’s response is due by March 26, 2018.
The correspondence is consistent with the tendency of congressional Republicans to blame PREPA for difficulties in Puerto Rico, while Democrats are blaming President Trump and FEMA for the slow response to Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island territory in September of 2017.
In the letter, the congressional leaders cite an alleged incident in which PREPA officials were reportedly paid $5,000 and provided free entry tickets, valued at $1,000 each, to restore power to San Juan area exotic dance clubs in advance of the scheduled restoration timeline. The letter also mentions alleged incidents in which the comfort of PREPA officials was prioritized above that of a medical center and San Juan’s primary airport.
“Billions of taxpayer dollars are pledged to help Puerto Rico, but a lack of faith in Puerto Rico’s institutions remains a major barrier to recovery,” the letter’s authors explain.
Click here to see the letter.