Battle over money to manage Wyatt jail in R.I. Supreme Court

Source: W. Zachary Malinowski, Journal, Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The firm that formerly managed the troubled Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility contends that the jail’s governing board owes it nearly $183,000. The legal battle over the money, dating to last spring, has wound its way through Superior Court and has now landed in the state Supreme Court. Last month, the high court issued a stay that gives the Central Falls Detention Facility Corporation, otherwise known as the governing board, time to file an appeal about why the case should not go to arbitration….. Money has been a paramount issue at Wyatt since Immigration and Customs Enforcement removed all of its immigrant detainees — more than 150 prisoners, or 25 percent of the population — at the for-profit jail two years ago. …. The relationship between Avcorr and Wyatt dates to Jan. 1, 2008, when the management firm signed a five-year agreement to run the day-to-day operations at the prison….

…In April 2009, five months after ICE terminated its contract with Wyatt, the CFDFC severed its contract with Avcorr. A few weeks later, Avcorr submitted its bill “for services rendered,” for work it had done at the jail. The itemized bill calls for the following payments:
•Bonus earned for 2008: $162,521
•Monthly fixed fee due for April 2009: $20,020.
•Business expenses incurred in April 2009: $292.

Court papers do not specify who earned the bonus, but other records The Journal has obtained show that the payment would be made to Anthony Ventetuolo Jr., Avcorr’s executive director.

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