Sink, Florida Cabinet fed up with BP claims czar Feinbergby Dara Kam | September 28th, 2010
Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink used an update this morning on Florida’s response to the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster to blast BP claims czar Ken Feinberg for paying too little, too late to Panhandle businesses and causing at least one company to close its doors.
“I’m kind of of the mind set that enough is enough,” Sink, the Democrat candidate for governor, said at this morning’s Cabinet meeting. “I don’t know about you all but I’m sick and tired of this. These desperate people through no fault of their own having to shut their business down? That’s horrendous!”
Sink said the owners of Harmony Beach Vacations in Destin sent her an e-mail yesterday telling her they were going out of business because their claim for lost revenues has languished under both BP and Feinberg, who took over the oil giant’s maligned claims process for individuals and businesses on Aug. 23.
Feinberg hasn’t yet responded to a letter Sink and Gov. Charlie Crist sent to Feinberg last week demanding that he revamp his claims process and appear before them at their next Cabinet meeting in two weeks, Sink said.
The other Cabinet members agreed with Sink.
Attorney General Bill McCollum, who said he was “cautiously optimistic” after meeting with Feinberg two weeks ago, said part of the problem is that Feinberg doesn’t have enough people making final decisions about the claims, which Feinberg disputed.
“This is ridiculous. It’s not just ridiculous, it hurts people. There are people hurting out there who will go out of business because theyr’e not getting their claims paid,” McCollum said today.
Sink suggested that the state should consider suing if the process doesn’t get better by the next Cabinet meeting on Oct. 12, although she acknowledged that litigation would probably delay payments even further.
Crist and McCollum seemed to agree.
“The inaction that’s occurring is untenable,” Crist said.