County Seeking Documentation on Sandy Contracts

Effort is not tied to any suspicions but a routine audit by comptroller's office.

A request by Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos for payment records of Hurricane Sandy contractors is part of a routine audit that is taking place now that the disaster has past, the Comptroller's office said Tuesday.

Maragos has asked the 12 largest Hurricane Sandy contractors for their payroll and expense records, including Huntington's Looks Great Services Inc., which is due nearly $70 million for debris removal, Newsday reported Monday.

"We are basically checking that they provide the paperwork to prove they are doing what they claim to be doing," Jostyn Hernandez, the director of communications for Maragos office, told Patch Tuesday.

Audits such as these are routine for the comptroller's office, Hernandez said. The difference in this instance is that routine procedures for distributing contracts had to be scrapped because of the crisis conditions left in the storm's wake.

"We're asking them for more detail now because the usual protocol went out the window with the emergency we were facing," Hernandez said. The letters sent by Maragos' office do not imply any impropriety, just an accounting of the funds that have and will be distributed.

"Basically, we're going to follow the money," Maragos told Newsday. "We want to make sure the money that has been spent has been spent well and we've gotten value and that none of it has been wasted."

Nassau County approved dozens of emergency contracts in the wake of the storm, including two to firms in Plainview and one in Farmingdale, Newsday reported.

They were R.J. Industries Inc. of Plainview, which is to be paid $6.75 million for sewer treatment plant repairs in Bay Park; Posilico Civil Inc. of Farmingdale, which has a $13.1 million contract for the Bay Park plant cleanup; and Grace Industries Llc of Plainview, which is due $8 million for work including debris cleanup, Newsday reported.

The companies could not be reached for comment.

Nassau County's Legislature has approved more than $200 million in Sandy-related expenses, including employee overtime and contractor payments. The federal government is expected to repay Nassau County back 90 percent of that money, Newsday reported.


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