Virtus Group representative addresses commissioners

Victoria County Commissioner Kevin Janak addresses fellow commissioner Danny Garcia’s question about payments to the Virtus Group for work done after Hurricane Harvey at a meeting in October 2019.

As Victoria County officials continue to verify what work was done in the county after Hurricane Harvey, they are asking the company that did millions of dollars worth of work for additional documentation.

Victoria County commissioners are scheduled Monday to discuss insurance claims and expenditures for damages and repairs after Harvey and take any necessary action regarding additional information the county needs from the Virtus Group, the Kansas company at the center of an ongoing controversy about whether Victoria County spent Hurricane Harvey recovery money in the taxpayers’ interests.

County Commissioner Kevin Janak said Friday that the work group – which, for more than half of the year, has been reviewing insurance documents, scopes of work, invoices and supplemental change orders – will make a recommendation to commissioners about requesting more information from Virtus.

At a meeting in early October, Janak said the work group also asked Virtus to perform an extensive review of its work in the county. At that time, a representative from Virtus said he and his team had been diligently going through scopes of work and reviewing what work the company did in every county building.

Afterward, the Virtus representative said, the company would submit a bill that reflects an agreed-upon scope of work and completed work within the county. Janak said previously that the county is withholding an additional $352,000 likely owed to the company to “protect the taxpayers as we confirm that we owe it to them.”

Friday, Janak said the work group needs Virtus to send additional documentation. He said Monday’s recommendation is not the work group’s full report of its findings.

“We need Virtus to respond so we can finish reviewing invoices to see exactly if the county owes any more money,” he said.

Also Monday, commissioners are scheduled to review a letter from the Texas Commission on Jail Standards and certificate of compliance for the Victoria County Jail.

Morgan Theophil covers local government for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached at 361-580-6511, mtheophil@vicad.com or on Twitter

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