Whitefish Energy's had quite a week: last week the two-person company from Whitefish, Montana (hometown of Trump Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke) was awarded a $300M contract to help rebuild the power-grid in Puerto Rico, with some very favorable terms including $462/hour for subcontracted supervisors, no penalties for nonperformance, and a guarantee that the government wouldn't audit its expenditures.
Today, it lost that contract after the governor of Puerto Rico demanded that it be canceled. The cancellation came with an announcement that all of Whitefish Energy's government contracts would be audited.
Now, a source has told the Wall Street Journal that the FBI is investigating the circumstances under which Whitefish got its extraordinary deal.
If the FBI's preliminary inquiry develops into a full investigation of the contract, it would join several other reviews of the contract already underway.
It wasn't immediately clear what about the deal the FBI would be investigating. But members of Congress have raised concerns over the manner in which the contract for essential work to rebuild the island's decimated grid was awarded to the small Montana company. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has also raised concerns over whether the amount of the contract awarded was reasonable.
The company also has ties to the Trump administration. The company is based in and named after the small hometown of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, and the CEO is an acquaintance of the secretary. An investment firm that owns a major stake in the company is run by a donor to Trump's presidential campaign.
Source: FBI opens inquiry into Whitefish's Puerto Rico contract
[Rene Marsh and Gregory Wallace/CNN]
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