Skip to comments.CA: State calls off contract with prison firm
Posted on 02/04/2005 8:36:56 AM PST by NormsRevenge
Sacramento -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration this week abruptly canceled a no-bid contract it was set to award to a private prison company that employs two former high-ranking state corrections officials.
After pursuing a deal with the company for several months, a spokesman for the state Department of Corrections said the department decided Wednesday that it was no longer interested in finalizing a $5.7 million contract that would have reopened the Mesa Verde Community Corrections Facility in Bakersfield. The contract would have been with a Massachusetts-based company called CiviGenics, which recently hired two retired Department of Corrections officials. The company and administration insist the two hires had nothing to do with the company nearly getting the contract.
On Wednesday, The Chronicle requested information about the contract, including communications between corrections officials and the company. Todd Slosek, a corrections spokesman, said the decision to shelve the deal was made late Wednesday after the department decided it didn't need extra beds after all.
The aborted deal is one of two the administration had been advancing to pay private prison companies to run previously shuttered facilities and help alleviate overcrowding at state prisons. The state has finalized a contract with GEO Group Inc. to reopen a prison in McFarland (Kern County).
In both cases, the administration chose not to allow other interested companies to bid for the jobs, a typical procedure used to ensure that taxpayers get the best deal. Instead, prison officials said they were facing emergency overcrowding and needed to strike quick deals with the two firms without going through the lengthy bidding process.
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
I'm wondering what reporter threatened to blow it all out.
In both cases, the administration chose not to allow other interested companies to bid for the jobs, a typical procedure used to ensure that taxpayers get the best deal.
CiviGenics CEO Roy Ross was formerly director of administration for the Shriver Center, a biomedical research center founded by California first lady Maria Shriver's mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver. A spokeswoman for the first lady said Maria Shriver had no knowledge of the contract.
Other companies have objected to not being allowed to bid.
Gary White, who ran the Bakersfield facility before it was closed in 2003, said he spoke with corrections officials in October, and submitted paperwork to them concerning reopening. White said department officials discussed paying roughly the same amount they had paid him in the past for the 340-bed facility, about $39 per day per inmate.
White, who runs a company called Alternative Programs Inc., said he was stunned to learn in January that the department was proposing a contract with CiviGenics that would pay more than $46.
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