Whitefish sues over payments for Puerto Rico power work

By The Associated Press

A small Montana company that landed and lost a $300 million contract to restore Puerto Rico's hurricane-shattered electric grid is suing a subcontractor for allegedly interfering with tens of millions of dollars in payments.

In this Oct. 19, 2017 file photo, a brigade from the Electric Power Authority repairs distribution lines damaged by Hurricane Maria in the Cantera community of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico's government scored a big win in court Monday, Nov. 13, 2017 after a judge rejected the appointment of a former military officer to oversee the U.S. territory's troubled power company. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti, File)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A small Montana company that landed and lost a $300 million contract to restore Puerto Rico's hurricane-shattered electric grid is suing a subcontractor for allegedly interfering with tens of millions of dollars in payments.

Whitefish Energy Holdings says the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority withheld the money at the request of Indiana-based Arc American Inc.

The northwest Montana company asked U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen in a lawsuit filed this week to force Arc to withdraw the request so it can be paid.

Whitefish's contract expired Thursday after accusations of overcharging contributed to the resignation of the power company director.

Officials who approved the contract say Whitefish was one of two companies that offered immediate services after Hurricane Maria.

Arc attorney Scott Hagel declined comment.

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