The Hurricane Michael recovery contract is a disaster in the making

In August, I wrote about how Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration couldn’t afford to mess up the Hurricane Michael storm recovery plan.

Two months later, the Department of Economic Opportunity announced its intent to award Horne LLP — a company with more than a few black marks on its record — the contract to manage the $735 million recovery fund.

Florida Politics raised alarms about Horne when it bid on a different disaster management contract in 2018, and the red flags cited then are just as relevant today as they were two years ago. And they’ve only added more to the pile since then.

One could fill a bookshelf with accounts of Horne’s missteps and failures handling state disaster recovery contracts, so for the sake of brevity we’ll focus on the ones most relevant to the DEO contract, which is focused on infrastructure and housing.

Horne consulted on a similar contract managed by RISE West Virginia after a deadly 2016 flood that damaged or destroyed many homes in the state.

At issue is a contract the company landed in West Virginia that was so riddled with problems that the state’s Senate President and House Speaker asked a joint

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