Pumps

(AP (file))
A new report from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released Friday afternoon shows a large number of critical documents related to a suspicious $26 million Army Corps contract are missing.

Here's the story: after Hurricane Katrina, the Army Corps contracted out the installation of 34 new levee pumps for New Orleans drainage canals to a Florida company known as Moving Water Industries or MWI. It's been widely reported that the owner — J. David Eller — used to co-own a pump business with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. The Corps later realized MWI's Katrina work was faulty.

Before the last hurricane season, an Army Corps engineer- Maria Garzino- wrote her higher ups and said the 34 pumps that MWI installed were problematic, but she received no response from the Corps. So this spring she gave her whistleblowing memo to the Associated Press. Senator Landrieu and others called for an investigation by the Government Accountability Office.

However, on Friday, the Army Corps released their own independent investigation that shows the Army Corps is missing the following documents:

  • The other bids for the contract

  • E-mails, meeting notes, a videotape of presentations made by the bidders

  • Documentation of the weaknesses of the competing bids

  • Memos regarding cost analysis, price negotiations

    Notably, the report is dated Monday, June 4, but the Corps waited until Friday afternoon to release it, a typical strategy to avoid press coverage of controversial reports. Louisiana Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu sent a letter on Friday asking the Department of Justice to investigate the contract.

    MWI did not return calls from CBS News requesting comment on the new Army Corps report.
    • Laura Strickler

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