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Christie defends $100M Sandy cleanup contract



UNION BEACH, N.J. (AP) — Gov. Chris Christie is defending a $100 million contract his administration gave a Florida company to haul away debris from Superstorm Sandy.

Christie says the contract with AshBritt was not awarded without competitive bidding, as critics have charged.

The governor says New Jersey has a cooperative agreement with the state of Connecticut that allows it to piggyback off an earlier contract with that state.

Christie says Connecticut contracted with AshBritt in 2010 in a $100 million contract that was competitively bid.

New Jersey needed to hire a contractor quickly after Sandy to begin picking up mounds of debris left by the storm. And AshBritt was selected in part because the firm had experience dealing with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and was able to get full reimbursement.