Monday, September 24, 2018

Whitefish tells court Puerto Rico power company still owes it owed $100 million

By on April 12, 2018

SAN JUAN – Whitefish Energy Holdings (WEH), the Montana firm whose $300 million contract with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority was canceled after coming under public scrutiny, has objected applications filed in federal court by Ankura Consulting and Filsinger Energy Partners.

Ankura is helping Prepa process the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) applications needed to reimburse contractors for work done to repair the island’s grid following the destruction caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria. Todd W. Filsinger, of Filsinger, was appointed the power company’s chief financial officer in September but uses the services of other professionals at Filsinger while he awaits approval of Prepa’s board.

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The utility’s contract with Whitefish, which was canceled by the governor amid public criticism over its terms, including the high payments to line workers and a clause that prevented the government from auditing the contract, was capped at $300 million, but the contractor says Prepa still owes it $100 million for its grid-repair work.

In separate documents filed April 9 in U.S. District Court, Whitefish says it has submitted all of the documents to Prepa that are needed to get paid for its work, but that neither Ankura nor Filsinger are doing what is needed to process them.

“It is now apparent from the fee application that Ankura is not devoting the resources that are minimally necessary to complete the FEMA submission of WEH’s invoices,” the contractor said in the limited objection filed against Ankura’s fees, a remark repeated in the document objecting Filsinger’s fees. “This is not in the best interests of the estate and its creditors,” it added.

Whitefish is asking the court to refrain from authorizing payments to Ankura and Filsinger until Prepa certifies that they have addressed the matter. Ankura is seeking $3 million in fees and more than $150,000 in expenses. Filsinger is seeking $2.3 million in fees and over $200,000 in expenses.

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