Star Ledger Editor Kevin Whitmer today stood by the paper’s reporting on contracts for debris removal in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.
Both Gov. Chris Christie and a spokesman took aim at the paper and reporter Jarrett Renshaw today over a series of stories detailing contracts awarded to an out of state company to remove debris from storm ravaged municipalities. In a news conference the governor accused the paper of “shoddy” and “crappy” reporting.
Whitmer defended the coverage.
“We stand behind the stories 100 percent and we’ll let our reporting moving forward address the rest,” Whitmer said in a brief statement.
Christie took issue with the paper’s characterization of the contract as “no-bid,” saying the state piggybacked off a Connecticut contract that was bid in 2010.
But in a subsequent story posted after the press conference, the paper cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency manual that called piggybacking “non-competitive.”
“Piggyback contracting is a concept of expanding a previously awarded contract. Piggyback contracting does not meet the requirements … because it is non-competitive and may have an inappropriate price structure,” the manual states, according to the paper.