AUSTIN – Several debris removal companies are now being investigated by Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Paxton’s office said the investigation was “spurred by a referral from Texas A&M University Chancellor John Sharp,” and is “examining agreements between companies and local governments relating to professional debris removal efforts in areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey.” Sharp was chosen by Gov. Greg Abbott to lead Rebuild Texas, the fund established to help communities recover after Harvey.

“I have asked General Paxton to open an investigation into some debris hauler’s activities in the wake of Hurricane Harvey,” Sharp said in a statement. “While some haulers have done a remarkable job, I have serious concerns about others’ activities that I have relayed to General Paxton. It’s time to find out why some are moving too slowly, and why some are refusing help that would remove debris faster.”

“Debris removal companies may be overpromising and under-delivering,” Paxton added. “Texans are working hard to clean up after Hurricane Harvey and these companies should do the same. They cannot sign contracts with local governments, and then change the price or not deliver services.”

The attorney general’s office said it will examine the representations made regarding debris removal efforts and whether the companies at issue are fulfilling their performance obligations. “Local governments impacted by these practices are encouraged to contact the Texas Attorney General’s office and report their experiences,” Paxton’s office added.

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