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A Louisiana motorcycle shop landed a $108 million contract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for travel trailers to house Hurricane Katrina victims, according to a report in the Times Picayune, Baton Rouge.
Bourget’s of the South, known for selling custom bikes, is owned by the father and uncle of state Rep. Gary Smith, and got the no-bid contract before it was even licensed to sell trailers.
The newspaper said FEMA and state officials didn’t respond to questions regarding the deal.
Steve Bordelon, owner of Steve’s RV Center – which was located in Meraux before Katrina swept through – questioned why the government would contract with a motorcycle maker with no experience selling RVs.
David Bacala, sales manager at Steve’s RV Center, said FEMA hasn’t even returned his phone calls regarding contracts. He called the Bourget’s deal a “political payback.”
The Times Picayune reported that the company is also being investigated by the Louisiana Recreational and Used Motor Vehicle Commission after complaints were lodged by two other RV dealers.
Bourget’s owners said they didn’t do anything wrong and aren’t being rewarded because they are related to a politician.