Victoria County commissioners Monday will discuss and take any final action related to the Virtus Group after another deadline given to the company is up.

The county sent a letter April 13 to Virtus, the company that did millions of dollars worth of repair work after Hurricane Harvey, attempting to resolve questions about the company’s work in the county. If the company fails to submit adequate documentation requested within 10 days, the letter stated, “Victoria County will be forced to conclude that the CRC is abandoning any claim for specific balances for the invoiced buildings.”

The letter was not the first time the county has given the company a deadline for information. The county also sent a letter with a 10-day deadline for documentation in November, and has been requesting the information for more than one year. The company has been a central figure in an ongoing investigation by the Victoria Advocate into whether the county mismanaged Hurricane Harvey recovery funds.

“We’ve heard it all,” Commissioner Kevin Janak said at the court’s April 20 meeting about the delays from Virtus. Janak has spent more than a year with a work group made up of several county employees reviewing Virtus’ work in the county, specifically in reference to an invoice that includes $352,000 the county has not paid.

Although Virtus said it might need extra time to get what the county is asking for, the commissioners remained unified in their stance to keep the deadline and plan to review anything submitted by Virtus on Monday before resolving the matter for good.

If Virtus still does not submit adequate documentation, the county will “close the door, and the discussion is over,” County Judge Ben Zeller said last week.

Additionally, the commissioners are continuing to move forward with plans to have a forensic audit of the county’s management and spending of Harvey recovery money, something several business leaders, public officials and members of the public have requested for almost a year.

Commissioner Gary Burns, who volunteered to lead the process, will come back to the court with a final recommendation after interviewing and negotiating a price for the forensic audit with the commissioners’ top choice, BKD.

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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