CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia's legislative auditor is investigating a state official's decision to award 20 no-bid emergency contracts for microwave radio tower repairs because the reasons he's given so far don't appear to hold up.
Auditor Aaron Allred wants the Department of Health and Human Resources to turn over every emergency contract that emergency communications director Joe Gonzalez has approved since 2007.
After a 2012 storm, Gonzalez hired Premier Construction of Jane Lew. The Charleston Gazette (http://bit.ly/16cNbXr) says he told DHHR officials he had to work quickly to avoid a breakdown of emergency medical services.
But a recent audit found Premier waited four to 13 days to repair most towers.
Gonzalez said Premier was the only company he could reach by phone.
Allred says power was widely disrupted, but phone service wasn't.