FEMA Over Billing Allegations

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Acting on allegations of overbilling and other issues, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has halted payments to Mobile-based Clearbrook L-L-C. That firm heads a contracting team among the biggest recipients of hurricane-related relief work.

A government spokeswoman, Nicol Andrews, says FEMA halted payments this week after the federal Department of Homeland Security's inspector general found more than three (M) million dollars in possible overcharges on a contract to provide housing and other services for emergency responders and storm victims.

Although auditors' questioned only one agreement worth up to 80-point-six (M) million dollars, Andrews says the suspended payments apply to four other Clearbrook contracts as well.

Clearbrook C-E-O Bruce Wagner says he has received no official notice, but has not been paid in two weeks for any of his FEMA jobs.

Without a resolution by week's end, Wagner says he plans to stop work.

Wagner blames the billing problems on faulty paperwork turned in by a since-fired accounting firm. He says he thought the problem had been resolved.

Clearbrook is a water treatment and purification firm with some 35 full-time employees.