Author Archives: Info Center

California water venture tied to Trump sees prospects rise after years of setbacks

Source: Stuart Leavenworth, McClatchy DC, February 8, 2017

Until Donald Trump won the presidency, prospects looked bleak for Cadiz, a California company that has struggled for years to secure federal permits to transform Mojave Desert groundwater into liquid gold. With the change of administration, a new day is dawning. In December, the National Governors Association circulated a preliminary list of infrastructure projects provided by the Trump transition team, and Cadiz’s was on the list. … While Trump is a supporter of traditional public works – touting the need for “new roads, highways, bridges, airports, tunnels and railways” during his inaugural address – fiscal hawks and some GOP leaders are leery of new federal funding for infrastructure. That political calculus has created openings for private infrastructure projects seeking regulatory relief, especially if they have connections. Cadiz’s project falls into both of those categories. … Yet even though Cadiz has new friends in a Trump administration, it may not be enough to counter the company’s most formidable foe: U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who wrote the Desert Protection Act of 1994 and has long been the Mojave’s guardian. She has the ear of ranchers and conservationists who fear that Cadiz’s pumping project could damage the desert’s range lands and ecosystems. Cadiz disputes those claims, arguing that it will be withdrawing only water – enough to supply 100,000 homes yearly – that would otherwise evaporate from lake beds in the desert. … Also unclear is how Cadiz’s project ended up on a list of “emergency and national security priority projects” distributed to the National Governors Association and reported by McClatchy. …

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Company wants to tap Mojave’s public lands for Southland water

Source: Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times, May 16, 2012

Cadiz Inc. could realize $1 billion to $2 billion in revenue over the plan’s 50-year life. Opponents say public resources are being used for private profit.

North Miami Beach votes to outsource sanitation department

Source: Lance Dixon, Miami Herald, August 20, 2015

After years of consideration, protests and negotiations, the city of North Miami Beach agreed on Tuesday to outsource its sanitation department. The city council voted 6-1 at Tuesday’s council meeting to approve a contract with Waste Management, about a month after directing the city manager and staff to work out the contract. Councilman Frantz Pierre voted against the item. … City staff have consistently said that outsourcing the department will save North Miami Beach about $2.5 million a year and keep them from having to raise sanitation rates by about 38 percent over the next three years, if the department remained in-house. The contract includes several compromises from Waste Management and requires the company to offer jobs to all of the city’s sanitation workers for the next five years at the same pay rate. Employees who live in North Miami Beach will also be given preference to remain on city routes, others will remain with the city or work with the company in other parts of Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

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Protesters oppose NMB plan to privatize trash hauling
Source: Lance Dixon, Miami Herald, August 4, 2015

The protestors, which included members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees local 3293, said they wanted more public input on the contract and ultimately want the city to find another way to save money. A spokesman said the union had received 1,500 signatures on a petition asking the city not to outsource the work. … The City Council has considered the decision for several years and staff members said outsourcing the department will save about $2.5 million annually. North Miami Beach finance staff issued a memo saying the city would likely have to raise sanitation rates by about 38 percent over the next three years if the city continues to run the department. Council members previously said they sympathize with the residents but ultimately, based on staff projections, had to support proceeding with privatization. Councilwoman Phyllis Smith and Councilman Frantz Pierre voted against the item at the July 21 meeting and Pierre posed with demonstrators for a picture before the meeting.

North Miami Beach rejects privatizing trash collection
Source: Patricia Sagastume, Miami Herald, June 18, 2014

North Miami Beach council members voted 4-3 against privatizing the sanitation department early Wednesday morning. The city manager said residents could get the same level of service at a lower cost from a private company, and that the city’s sanitation workers could be reassigned to other city jobs or go to work for the contractor. And the city’s finance department said privatization was critical to offset a projected $3 million dollar shortfall in next year’s budget. But some council members were skeptical of their professional staff’s numbers, or wanted the city to seek new offers from trash contractors in hopes of getting a better deal. The proposed deal with Waste Pro, a sanitation and recycling industry giant, had been in the works for two years, and was vetted by three city managers and a $50,000 report from a consultant. … Garcia also assured the council the projected savings of $2 million dollars per year could dramatically help the city as it faces financial uncertainty. Vice-Mayor Frantz Pierre, council members Anthony DeFillipo, Phyllis Smith and Beth Spiegel voted against privatization…Smith said the staff should not rely on proposals gathered from contractors nearly two years ago….DeFillipo said he accepts that outsourcing sanitation would save money, but he insisted the city renegotiate with the sanitation workers’ union for more concessions….

North Miami Beach votes down garbage privatization — for now
Source: News10, August 08, 2012

The North Miami Beach council voted early this morning against starting negotiations with Waste Pro, the company picked to privatize the city’s garbage pickup. Before the vote about 40 people, many of them city sanitation workers who don’t want to lose their jobs, gathered outside City Hall to protest privatizing the city’s garbage service. The privatization issue is dividing the city.

Upland library’s shortage of ‘Go Set a Watchman’ reflects planned budget cuts

Source: Liset Marquez, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, July 22, 2015

When a resident came into the library last week looking to check out the new Harper Lee novel, Yuri Hurtado had to break the news there were no copies…The proposed 2015-16 $43.7 million budget includes $103,000 for books and materials but is less than the $153,750 recommended by the library’s operator, LSSI. It is the second consecutive year that funding for books and materials has come up short, Filippi said. In 2014-15, only $90,000 was set aside for new books and materials when LSSI had recommended $150,000….LSSI was brought on was for several reasons, Filippi said, including reducing the city’s pension obligations by contracting out the services. Outsourcing also provided the ability to add hours of operation, which it has, Filippi said. The last was the move would add more books to the library’s catalog, he said….Hurtado said LSSI purchases two-thirds of its books and materials once the funds become available at the start of the fiscal year. Typically library staff have to pre-order books months in advance….The $60,000 cut in 2014-15 works out to 2,000 books that LSSI wasn’t able to purchase, she said.

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Upland Library closing briefly while management transitions
Source: Liset Marquez, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, July 25, 2014

….. Planning is underway to transition the 100-year-old public institution to a privately operated operation. But when it reopens Friday – the first time in several years – some long time staff will not be returning. In June, the City Council approved a five-year contract with Library Systems and Services Inc., at a savings to the city of $1 million over that period. Outsourcing the management of the public facility was one of the 22 items approved by the citizen-led Upland Fiscal Response Task Force. “Not everybody applied but a good percentage were rehired,” said Robert Windrow, vice president of LSSI, which is based in Germantown, Maryland.

Upland council approves outsourcing of library
Source: Liset Marquez, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, June 25, 2014

A private company will assume the day-to-day operations of the city’s library starting on Aug. 1, opening that Friday for the first time in several years. The City Council on Monday night approved a five-year contract with Library Systems and Services Inc., at a savings to the city of $1 million over that period. Outsourcing the management of the public facility was one of the 22 items approved by the citizen-led Upland Fiscal Response Task Force.

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Nassau seeing lower-than-expected savings as union workers shun jobs with private sewer operator

Source: Paul Larocco, newsday.com, July 19, 2015

Six months after Nassau turned over management of its massive sewer system to a private operator, few public employees have agreed to work for the company, raising questions about whether the county will achieve savings significantly beyond what’s minimally guaranteed in the contract. New Jersey-based United Water began running the county’s three major wastewater treatment plants, 53 pumping stations and 3,000 miles of sewers on Jan. 2. About 300 county workers were budgeted to staff the system in the year before the changeover, and according to the union that represents them, only four or five have taken jobs with United Water. “Guys didn’t want to lose their pensions,” said Jerry Laricchiuta, president of the Civil Service Employee Association, Nassau’s largest public union. The reluctance of CSEA members – protected against layoffs under the United Water deal – to take private-sector jobs has left Nassau to rely, for almost all its projected savings, on the $10 million a year the company must reimburse it

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Nassau picks contractor for advice on sewer privatization
Source: Robert Brodsky, newsday.com, June 24, 2015

Nassau has agreed to pay $45,000 a month to an outside consultant to negotiate the lease of its sewer system to a private investor in a deal that could net the county an estimated $750 million, according to contract documents. KPMG, an international audit, tax and advisory firm, will assist Nassau

Questions surround sewer plant transition
Source: Laura Schofer, LI Herald, November 29, 2914

The Cedar Creek wastewater treatment plan on the Seaford-Wantagh border will soon by run by United Water. The public-private partnership between United Water and Nassau County has been touted as a way to save the county money and improve wastewater infrastructure, but for the county workers at Cedar Creek, the transition process has been bumpy. In an Oct. 29 memo from Jerry Laricchiuta, president of Nassau Local 830 of the Civil Service Employees Association, to DPW members at Bay Park and Cedar Creek, wrote that the application from United Water has “contractual conflicts as well as inconsistencies within the sewer agreement we entered into on May 12, 2012.” In particular, the application process asks employees to be urine tested and have other medical exams that “goes against our own CSEA-county contract,” Laricchiuta wrote.And, when some CSEA employees refused to fill out the application, they were threatened with disciplinary action. … Nassau County signed a 20-year agreement in September with United Water to operate, manage and maintain the county’s wastewater treatment plants including Cedar Creek, Bay Park and Glen Cove, its pumping stations and sewers. …
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Bo Robinson chef allegedly lifts up co-worker’s skirt in pattern of harassment

Source:
David Foster, The Trentonian, July 12, 2015

A Bo Robinson chef was apparently serving up something creepy. According to a discrimination lawsuit, Mohamed Abdel Ghani, the then-director of food service at the Trenton halfway house, would continually sexually harass a female co-worker, whose repeated complaints to management were ignored. …. Abdel Ghani and the victim were both employees of Community Education Centers (CEC), the service provider at Bo Robinson…The lawsuit documents the victim complained four times to management, three times to Joe Collier, the shift supervisor of operations, and once to director Mark Salaga, from February 2013 until June 2014…The harassment allegedly continued after the first three complaints, leading to retaliatory measures such as Abdel Ghani cutting her overtime.

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Source: Mercer County pulls all of its inmates from Bo Robinson
David Foster, The Trentonian, June 23, 2015

Mercer County has reached its breaking point with the care of its inmates contracted to Bo Robinson. On Friday, the public agency pulled all 12 inmates housed at the Trenton halfway house and sent them to the Mercer County Correction Center in Hopewell. …. Furthermore, Boonin said the county will not send any new inmates to privately-run Bo Robinson until the county regains confidence in the facility. …. Education & Health Centers of America (EHCA) is the nonprofit operator of the halfway houses. Community Education Centers (CEC), a for-profit company that once shared CEOs with EHCA until earlier this year, is the service provider of the halfway houses.

Halfway house employee charged with sexual assaulting resident in Trenton
Source: NJ.com, June 10, 2015

An employee of the Albert M. “Bo” Robinson Assessment & Treatment Center has been charged with performing a sex act on a male resident, police said. … “That afternoon the complainant was removed from the facility, and the employee was suspended from his position and subsequently terminated from his employment,” said Charles Seigel, a spokesman for Community Education Centers, which owns and runs the facility.

Bo Robinson service provider CEO denies drug culture claims at halfway house
Source: David Foster, The Trentonian, April 17, 2015

The head of the service provider at Bo Robinson refutes rampant drug use allegations in the wake of two escaped inmates’ deaths from overdoses. But he was unable to provide factual evidence showing otherwise. In an interview with The Trentonian on Friday, Community Education Centers CEO James E. Hyman believes recent reports documenting a drug culture at the Trenton halfway house are unsubstantiated….Coming under scrutiny before, the privately run Enterprise Avenue facility has been the focus of a series of Trentonian stories in recent weeks. Bo Robinson inmates Douglas Kelvy and Michael Preston walked away from their approved work site in Burlington on March 13. Four days later, they were both found dead of an apparent overdose in a room at Americas Best Value Inn in Cherry Hill, surrounded by a number of stamped bags and syringes. Both men had opiates and cocaine in their system. In a Trentonian cover story earlier this week, Kelvy’s ex-fiancee detailed phone conversations with the inmate shortly before he escaped from Bo Robinson. In the story, she alleged Kelvy told her on a smuggled-in cellphone that he could get any drug he wanted at Bo Robinson and admitted to smoking synthetic marijuana 10 days before he escaped. … Staff members have complained to The Trentonian that they only earn $10 an hour and are underpaid, apparently triggering the contraband and drugs that allegedly make it into the facility….

Charges dismissed in lawsuit involving escape from Newark halfway house
Source: Ted Sherman, Star-Ledger, May 20, 2013

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the state of New Jersey in connection with the death of a 21-year-old Garfield woman allegedly killed by a parolee who escaped the custody of a Newark halfway house nearly three years ago. However, the case will be allowed to continue against the private operators that run the facility. … The lawsuit charged Community Education Centers, the state of New Jersey, the Department of Corrections, the state Parole Board and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey all with failing to prevent Goodell’s escape and Tulli’s death….

Democrats in Trenton Push New Halfway-House Rules
Source: Sam Dolnick, New York Times, November 20, 2012

Prominent Democrats in the New Jersey Assembly are proposing landmark legislation that would significantly tighten oversight of the state’s troubled halfway houses and curb the operations of the politically influential company at the heart of the system….

Executive at Company Tied to New Jersey’s Halfway Houses Is Leaving

Source: Sam Dolnick, New York Times, November 8, 2012

Sister of woman allegedly killed by Newark halfway house parolee files wrongful death suit

Source: Alexi Friedman, Star-Ledger, August 24, 2012

The sister of a 21-year-old Garfield woman killed two years ago, allegedly by a parolee who escaped the custody of a Newark halfway house, has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the private company operating the facility, known as Logan Hall. Filed Thursday in Superior Court in Newark, the lawsuit is the second one in less than a week to name Community Education Centers as a defendant. The company runs Logan Hall and New Jersey’s biggest halfway house, Delaney Hall, also in Newark.

Garfield woman sues state, operator of Newark halfway house following sister’s murder

Source: John Reitmeyer and Melissa Hayes, Record, August 23, 2012

1,200-Bed Halfway House in Newark Is Operating Illegally, Suit Says

Source: Sam Dolnick, New York Times, August 21, 2012

New Jersey Fines Halfway Houses $45,000 Over Escapes

Source: Sam Dolnick, New York Times, August 14, 2012

Christie Seeks to Weaken Oversight of Halfway Houses

Source: Sam Dolnick, New York Times, August 8, 2012

Panel hears dueling views of NJ halfway houses

Source: Joelle Farrell, Philadelphia Inquirer, July 20, 2012

New Jersey cases shine spotlight on privately operated halfway houses

Source: Joelle Farrell, Philadelphia Inquirer, July 19, 2012

At a Halfway House, Bedlam Reigns

Source: Sam Dolnick, New York Times, June 17, 2012

The Bo Robinson center in New Jersey is as large as a prison and is intended to help inmates re-enter society. But The New York Times found that drugs, gangs and sexual abuse are rife behind its walls.

Finances Plague Company Running Halfway Houses

Source: Sam Dolnick, New York Times, June 16, 2012

As Escapees Stream Out, a Penal Business Thrives

Source: Sam Dolnick, New York Times, June 16, 2012

A company with deep ties to Gov. Chris Christie dominates New Jersey’s system of large halfway houses. There has been little state oversight, despite widespread problems, The New York Times found….Since 2005, roughly 5,100 inmates have escaped from the state’s privately run halfway houses, including at least 1,300 in the 29 months since Governor Christie took office, according to an analysis by The Times…. By contrast, the state’s prisons had three escapes in 2010 and none in the first nine months of 2011, the last period for which the state gave figures….

…Mr. Christie, a Republican who took office in January 2010, has for years championed the company that plays a principal role in the New Jersey system, Community Education Centers. Community Education received about $71 million from state and county agencies in New Jersey in the 2011 fiscal year, out of total halfway house spending of roughly $105 million, according to state and company records. The company first obtained substantial contracts for its “re-entry centers” in New Jersey in the late 1990s, as state financing began increasing sharply. In recent years, it has cited its success in New Jersey in obtaining government contracts in Colorado, Pennsylvania and other states. ….

Foster care will not be privatized, officials say

Source: Justin A. Hinkley, Lansing State Journal, June 29, 2015

Despite official statements to the contrary, state employees and some private providers suspect Michigan is working toward fully outsourcing foster care services in the state. Currently, the more than 12,000 foster care cases in Michigan are split about evenly between private providers and the more than 700 foster care workers at the state Department of Health & Human Services. The division varies by county, but state employees and others look to Kent County — where recent legislation fully privatized foster care case management and established a pilot program for a performance-based funding model — as one of several clues that 100% outsourcing is coming down the pike.
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Families say they are being torn apart and blame the privatization of Michigan’s foster care system

Source: Heather Catallo, WXYZ, October 31, 2011

Michigan families are being torn apart–and critics blame the privatization of the foster care system. Families desperate to care for loved ones say they are spending thousands of dollars to fight a hostile bureaucracy to get children out of state hands….The state pays private agencies to handle most foster care adoption cases. They are supposed to make placing foster children with family a priority. But 7 Action News has found some private agencies fail to do this and appear to manipulate the process to favor their clients–couples hoping to adopt. This can cut kids off from family forever.

Bill allows sale of 2nd Ohio prison to private operator

Source: Andrew Welsh-Huggins, Associated Press, July 1, 2015

The state can sell a central Ohio prison to a private company under a bill on the way to Gov. John Kasich, creating the second privately owned and operated correctional institution in the state. The legislation approved last month authorizes Ohio to put North Central Correctional Institution in Marion up for sale on the condition it’s still run as a prison. ….
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Workers picket prison to protest proposed privatization of NCCI
Source: John Jarvis, Marion Star, October 3, 2011

Relieved Grafton Correctional Institution is remaining a publicly run prison, some of its employees joined picketing on Monday in front of North Central Correctional Institution….Referring to the state’s last-minute decision to merge North Coast Correctional Treatment Facility with Grafton and maintain it as a publicly operated prison, Mowery said, “We big time lucked out.” NCCI, on Marion-Williamsport Road north of Marion, will be consolidated, also, with the former Marion Juvenile Correctional Facility when it is reopened. To be known as Marion Correctional Complex, the prison will be turned over to a private company, Management & Training Corp. of Centerville, Utah, on Dec. 31. … Mabe said OCSEA could have saved the state more than the 6 percent savings it projects it will receive as a result of prison privatization. He said the union hopes the Ohio Department of Correction and Rehabilitation will give it the opportunity to negotiate for further cost savings. He said OCSEA saved the state $350 million in concessions over the last 2 1/2 years.

Families demand more staff at privatized Golden Hill nursing home

Source: Mid-Hudson News, June 24, 2015

Trouble is brewing at Golden Hill nursing home, the 240-bed senior care facility formerly owned by Ulster County, but privatized two years ago. Critics say resident-to-certified nursing assistant ratios at Golden Hill have significantly risen to 40-to-1 since privatization in June 2013. A loophole in state regulations leaves no minimum ratio for nursing homes, they said, and also fail to define how appropriate care ratios should be determined, or by whom.
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Experts: Too soon to tell about Ulster nursing home – Neuhaus’ Ulster model invested millions but laid off half its workers
Source: Hema Easley, Chronicle, April 17, 2014

Ulster, which like Orange was underwriting its county-owned nursing home, transferred Golden Hill Health Care Facility to an LDC, which sold it to a private operator last June. Counties across the state are looking to sell off their nursing homes because many are running at a deficit. Neighboring Rockland County is currently looking for a buyer, but Ulster has completed the process…. When Golden Hill was taken over by VestraCare, it laid off all employees and required them to reapply for their jobs, according to media reports and the CSEA that represents Golden Hill employees. Shannon Cayea, the chief executive officer of VestraCare told the Daily Freeman that about 50 percent of the 244 employees were rehired though the CSEA said less than half were offered jobs. Ulster County paid out more than $1.5 million in separation costs to employees, the Daily Freeman reported. The remaining employees are still working without a contract nine months after they were rehired….

Some improvements after sale of county-owned nursing home to private firm
Source: Patricia Doxsey, freemanonline.com, March 16, 2014

It’s been nearly eight months since Ulster County turned the Golden Hill Health Care Facility over to a private company. By all accounts, the concerns and fears that surrounded the debate over whether the county should sell its nursing home to a profit-making company, have proven to be unfounded. In fact, Ken Hyatt, the head of the facility’s Residents’ Council, said that in some cases, conditions have markedly improved under VestraCare, the company that purchased the 280-bed facility. … Despite the opposition, Hein’s plan to transfer the facility to Local Development Corp. to market and sell the facility moved forward, and on Nov. 30, 2012, Local Development Corp. voted unanimously to sell the nursing home to Susquehanna Realty, a partnership comprising Dr. Anthony J. Bacchi, Martin Farbenblum and Edward O. Farbenblum. Ownership of the facility was transferred to that group on June 26, 2013. The group now operates under the name VestraCare which owns several nursing homes in New York and Long Island….

$11.25M bidder for Golden Hill chosen for its track record
Source: Michael Novinson, Times Herald-Record, December 1, 2012

The company selected to buy the Golden Hill nursing home wants to introduce new programs at the infirmary and bring 200 assisted-living beds to the Kingston Hospital site. Susquehanna Realty LLC will pay $11.25 million to buy 280 nursing beds, a 157,000-square-foot building and 20 acres of land in Kingston. The Golden Hill Local Development Corp., tasked with selling Ulster County’s infirmary, chose Susquehanna over five other bidders and announced its decision Friday. ….

Golden Hill may be privatized
Source: Michael Novinson, Times Herald-Record, November 16, 2011

Legislators overwhelmingly approved Tuesday the first step in privatizing Ulster County’s nursing home.

CSEA slams Hein over plans to privatize Golden Hill
Source: MidHudson News, October 6, 2011

Ulster County budget includes big changes for the Golden Hill Nursing Home
Source: John Wagner, YNN, October 5, 2011

Ulster County Executive Mike Hein unveils his 2012 budget proposal, including a 2.5 percent property tax increase and a plan to privatize Golden Hill Nursing Home. The future of Golden Hill’s 280 beds have been up in the air for quite some time, but now legislators must make a decision.

Parker County Jail to get new management

Source: Christin Coyne, Weatherford Democrat, June 9, 2015

LaSalle Corrections will take over operations of the Parker County Jail. Ousting the current jail operator, Community Education Centers, Parker County commissioners voted to award the 5-year contract to the Louisiana-based company due to the difference in price. …. The contract includes a compensation rate of $42.95 per county inmate and $40 for a federal inmate, according to Kurpiewski. Over the next nine years, the $42.95 will increase to $49.8 per county inmate, according to Kurpiewski’s presentation. The county is expected to save approximately $150,000 per year, or $1.35 million over nine years, Kurpiewski estimated. ….CEC Corrections, which has run the Parker County Jail since it was privatized approximately eight years ago and operates several facilities in Texas, also made a presentation to commissioners. ….
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CiviGenics, Inc. to begin managing county jail Oct. 1
Source: Galen Scott, Weatherford Democrat (TX), August 13, 2007 06:13 pm

In a 4-1 vote Monday, the Parker County Commissioners Court approved a five-year contract with private jail management company CiviGenics. ….. Precinct 4 Commissioner Jim Webster cast the lone vote of opposition…… “My feeling on this is that privatization is not the answer for government problems, and I think we need to find that answer within ourselves,” he said. “I disagree with the conclusions that have been drawn up, but I feel like I will be outvoted, and that’s fine. Because that is what we are able to have in a democracy where one person can speak his piece.”

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Community Education Centers Acquires CiviGenics
Source: Community Education Centers, Inc., Press Release, May 21, 2007

Community Education Centers Acquires CiviGenics; Becomes Nation’s Largest. Provider of Offender Reentry Services. Combined Company to Have Revenue in Excess of $200 million, Employ over 3,500, Operate 97 Facilities in 22 States. Community Education Centers, Inc. (CEC), the leading provider of offender reentry services, today announced that it has acquired CiviGenics, Marlborough, Mass., the largest provider of in-prison treatment programs. The move creates the largest offender reentry services company in the United States. The combined company provides services ranging from residential and non-residential reentry programs, in-prison treatment services, and jail management services.

Drivers winning in court against Express Lanes operator

Source: Ari Ashe, WTOP, May 19, 2015

Six drivers saw their unpaid-toll cases dismissed in Fairfax County General District Court on Monday, while the final ruling on another landmark case has been delayed due to a last-minute motion. Circuit Court Judge Dennis J. Smith ruled in April that Express Lanes operator Transurban must sue drivers for unpaid tolls within a year. Toni Cooley, Jim Diller and Stuart Holmes all won their cases with the decision, and the fallout has been felt ever since — six cases were dismissed on Monday because Transurban waited too long to sue, and more will likely be dismissed in the coming weeks. ….
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Lawsuit filed against Express Lanes operator Transurban
Source: WUSA9, April 17, 2015

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Transurban, the organization that runs the Virginia Express Lanes. The suit was filed in Virginia Federal Court by users of the Express Lanes on Thursday. The main goal of the lawsuit is to stop what drivers describe as outrageous overcharging of unpaid tolls. The suit alleges that Transurban, Faneuil and their partners “assessed unfair, illegal, and unconscionable administrative fees and civil penalties on area drivers for allegedly failing to pay HOT Lanes tolls,” Hausfeld, the law firm handling the suit said in a statement. What began as a $14.20 fee for an unpaid 495 Express lane toll quickly got out of hand for Lisa-Marie Cormas. Comras said she fought for more than a year, while her fines ballooned from a few hundred dollars to $10,000. Comras has been fighting Transurban in court, and plans to join the class action suit that was filed Thursday….

Class-action suit claims predatory toll scheme on 495 Express Lanes
Source: Justin Jouvenal, Washington Post, April 16, 2015

The company that manages the Interstate 495 toll lanes in Northern Virginia is socking violators with “unfair, illegal and unconscionable” fines and fees that have reached tens of thousands of dollars in some cases, according to a class-action lawsuit announced this week.
The suit, which was filed in federal court in Alexandria, claims that Transurban uses a predatory scheme because the Capital Beltway express lanes have not been as profitable as expected and some drivers are being hit with violations that never occurred.

Source: Martin Di Caro, WAMU, November 13, 2012

Virginia Toll Road a Drag on Transurban Profits
Source: Kyle Glazier, Bond Buyer, August 7, 2012
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Virginia Announces $940 Million I-95 HOT Lane Deal

Source: Jonathan Wilson, WAMU, December 6, 2011

Virginia governor Bob McDonnell says the state has reached a $1 billion deal with a private contractor for Northern Virginia’s Interstate 95 HOT lanes project. Under the deal announced today, private contractor Fluor-Transurban would finance 90 percent of the $940 million project to build High Occupancy Toll lanes on I-95, with the rest of the money coming from the state. The contractor would recoup its investment by collecting the tolls.