Ex-US Official Files Suit Against Haiti Reconstruction Contractor

    Lewis Lucke, then coordinator of the U.S. government's response to the Haiti earthquake disaster, speaks with Vice Adm. Melvin G. Williams Jr., commander of U.S. 2nd Fleet, during his visit to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on March 4, 2010. Lucke has sued partners of the Haiti Recovery Group for shortchanging the former U.S. official for his help in securing post-quake reconstruction deals for the company. Photo by: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joan E. Kretschmer / U.S. Navy

    A former U.S. official who was in charge of the country’s relief efforts in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake in January 2010 has filed a lawsuit against a contractor, claiming that he was shortchanged for his assistance in securing reconstruction deals for the firm.

    Lewis Lucke served as temporary U.S. special coordinator for relief and reconstruction in the immediate aftermath of the Haiti earthquake. He became engaged as a consultant for Haiti Recovery Group following the completion of his temporary posting in May 2010, The Associated Press reports.

    In his lawsuit against Ashbritt Inc. and GB Group, the two partners under the Haiti Recovery Group, Lucke claimed that the contractors owed him some USD500,000 worth of consultants fee and accused the two of breach of contract, says AP.

    The news agency, which has a copy of the lawsuit, explains that Lucke signed with Haiti Recovery Group on May 13, 2010, as a consultant “providing an understanding of the recovery efforts, making key introductions, and identifying sources of funding for HRG projects.”

    Lucke explained that he peformed his obligations and was instrumental in helping the contractor secure two USD10 million reconstruction contracts and a third worth USD366,000. AP says that according to information in the lawsuit, the former U.S. Agency for International Development official received two monthly payments of USD30,000 each before receiving an e-mail from Ashbritt head Randal Perkins terminating their agreement. The e-mail was sent around the time the contractor secured one of the USD10 million contract, AP says, citing the lawsuit.

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    • Ivy Mungcal

      As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.