Democrat urges probe of power contract to Zinke neighbor - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Democrat urges probe of power contract to Zinke neighbor

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A Democratic congressman is calling for an investigation into a $300 million contract awarded to a small company based in Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's hometown of Whitefish, Montana.

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority awarded the contract to Whitefish Energy Holdings to help crews restore transmission and distribution lines damaged or destroyed during Hurricane Maria.

Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona, senior Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, said Tuesday that "Congress needs to understand why the Whitefish contract was awarded and whether other, more cost-effective options were available."

An Interior spokeswoman said "neither the secretary nor anyone in his office have taken any meetings or action on behalf of this company." She said Zinke knows Whitefish CEO Andy Techmanski "because they both live in a small town."

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