From Miami Herald news partner WFOR-CBS 4's Jim DeFede:
On a recent Sunday afternoon, Randy Perkins was standing alongside U.S. 1 in the Florida Keys when he spotted a large dump truck heading south.
“See that,” he said, pointing to the truck. “Yesterday that truck right there was working for AshBritt in Monroe County and it was hired away from us this morning. So I lost another truck again today.”
AshBritt is the name of Perkins’ company, one of the largest debris removal firms in the country. Perkins claims he has lost dozens of trucks, and the crews that go with them, because they have gone to work for his two competitors in the Keys – MCM and Community Asphalt.
Why would the drivers and crews leave Perkins for the other firms?
Because they can make a lot more money thanks to a never-before seen contract put out by the Scott Administration immediately after Hurricane Irma. The emergency contract, uncovered by CBS4 News, dramatically raises the cost of cleaning up the Florida Keys. And it came at a time when Governor Scott was publicly claiming his Administration was holding the line on costs and demanding debris removal firms not raise their rates.
Under the emergency contract awarded through the Florida Department of Transportation, MCM and Community Asphalt are being paid anywhere from three to 10 times more to do the same work that AshBritt is doing under a separate agreement the firm has with Monroe County.