Source: By JONI JAMES, St. Petersburg Times (FL), February 14, 2006
TALLAHASSEE – A former Florida prison official has pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $225,000 in state money nearly three years after he used the cash to help buy houses for him and his girlfriend. Alan Brown Duffee, the former executive director of a defunct board that oversaw Florida’s private prison contracts, admitted Thursday in Tallahassee to one count each of mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. Duffee, 40, faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He is to be sentenced in April. …… A plea agreement filed in U.S. District Court in Tallahassee shows Duffee admitted that he moved money in 2003 from a bank account for the Florida Correctional Privatization Commission to another bank account to which only he had access.
Source: Palm Beach Post, Monday, January 30, 2006
Gas and even materials and labor may cost more, but Port St. Lucie City Council members were correct to reject a trash hauler’s bid to raise rates by up to 83 percent. Last week, the council nixed Waste Management’s bid to renew its contract for five years and asked other garbage haulers to submit bids for picking up trash, tree limbs and recyclables. Council members praised Waste Management’s work. But they said that the firm’s planned increase in monthly rates from $14.86 to $24.95 or $27.20, depending on how the fees are collected, is just too much for residents to pay. Mayor Bob Minsky was the only dissenter; he wanted to keep Waste Management, even though he once was its toughest critic. The firm’s improved service under a strict city contract, he said, and has helped keep the city clean.
Source: By Matt Scallan, Times-Picayne (LA), Tuesday, February 07, 2006
The St. Charles Parish Council on Monday told its garbage collector to pick up the trash or forget about picking up its final paycheck. However, Chief Administrative Officer Tim Vial said more research would have to be done to determine whether the parish could legally withhold the final payment to Waste Management Inc. …. “I’ve had some people complain that they haven’t had trash picked up in six weeks,” said Ganesier “Ram” Ramchandran, who cosponsored the payment resolution with Councilman Richard Duhe.
Source: By Tina Moore, Philadelphia Inquirer (DE), Fri, Feb. 03, 2006
A Colwyn man who was imprisoned for 44 days last year after Delaware County jail officials refused to check his repeated, and true, claim that they had the wrong person has netted a cash settlement, court records show. James J. Johnson, 28, filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that correctional officers missed opportunities to verify his identity and threatened to charge him with additional crimes if he did not stop claiming that he was not Shawn Carter, the name on the arrest warrant used to jail him. ….. The county jail is run by the GEO Group, formerly known as Wackenhut Corrections Corp., of Boca Raton, Fla., and is the only privately run prison in the state. The company, not the county, is responsible for all settlements and court awards.
Source: DON WALKER, Journal Sentinel (WI), Feb. 4, 2006
Citing a number of information technology horror stories involving several state agencies, key members of the Legislature’s Joint Audit Committee today called for a massive state review. “The I.T. gravy train must be derailed,” said State Sen. Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay), who was joined by co-chairs Sen. Carol Roessler (R-Oshkosh) and Rep. Susan Jeskewitz (R-Menomonee Falls). “I have called for this audit to bring more accountability to these computer projects as I think we need a comprehensive audit to review these cost overruns.” If approved by the Joint Audit Committee, the Legislative Audit Bureau would conduct the review. According to Cowles, the state spends more than $740 million each year on contracts for information technology projects, and state spending on technology contractors has grown by more than 100% in the past decade to roughly $90 million.
Source: By Kathleen Baydala, Clarion Ledger (MS), January 31, 2006
South Jackson resident Brenda Carson, 61, said her husband, on more than one occasion, has chased garbagemen down the street, demanding they come back and pick up their trash. “We practically gift wrap our trash, and it still takes two or three weeks sometimes before they pick it up,” Carson said. Thelman Boyd, director of the city’s public works department, said the city also is dissatisfied with the quality of garbage removal service and is considering fining its trash and leaf collection contractor for not doing a good job. “We’ve had reports that garbage trucks missed whole streets,” he said. The city’s contract with Waste Management of Mississippi allows the city to assess fines for failure to collect solid waste within 24 hours of a complaint, failure to clean up trash spilled by garbage men and other service breaches. Fines range from $25 to $500 per incident.
Source: BY GARRY LENTON, The Patriot-News (PA), Sunday, January 29, 2006
Veteran guards responsible for training new hires to the security force that protects Three Mile Island were sharing a key piece of insider information — the best places to take a nap, according to an internal memo. “We have mentors and qualified officers informing new hires of all the locations that they can hide and catch a quick nap,” wrote John Young, the head of security at TMI for Wackenhut, a private security force employed by the plant. ….. The memo, sent to security supervisors at the nuclear power plant on Oct. 17, also maintained that new hires were being told of shortcuts for tasks and warned of the “horrors” of working for Wackenhut. ….. Guards at TMI work 12-hour shifts, usually for two to three consecutive days, but sometimes longer. Documents provided to The Patriot-News show one officer worked more than 150 hours in a 14-day period, nearly the equivalent of two full-time jobs. The same officer averaged more than 54 hours a week for the first 10 months of 2005.
Source: By Jonathan Abel, St Petersburg Times (FL), January 27, 2006
An inmate at the Hernando County Jail was found hanging in his cell early Friday. It was the third death at the facility since November. The man was discovered about 6:30 a.m. Police are withholding his identity until they notify the next of kin. “We’re shocked,” said Ken Bouldin, executive vice president of Corrections Corp. of America, which runs the jail. Bouldin was in Hernando to address complaints about two recent suicides at the jail, which currently houses about 550 inmates.
Source: By PAUL von ZIELBAUER, New York Times (NY), January 27, 2006
The Tennessee company that provides health care to city inmates failed to meet one-fourth of its contractual performance standards for a third consecutive quarter last year, city records show. The latest review, completed this month, prompted city health officials to withhold $71,000 in payments to the company, the largest quarterly penalty for poor jail care since 2001. In the third quarter of 2005, the company, Prison Health Services, did not meet medical or mental health standards in 10 of 39 areas, including those covering H.I.V. treatment, mental health care and suicide watch, records show.
Source: By J.L. MILLER, The News Journal (DE), 01/26/2006
DOVER — Lee McMillan, whose husband nearly died in prison after flesh-eating bacteria attacked his body, wants to know why the state won’t release an audit of Delaware’s prison health care system. So do some legislators, who are backing a bill that would require the state to release the audit and similar reports — as long as confidential information such as personal medical records is withheld. House Bill 320, sponsored by Rep. Nancy Wagner, R-Dover North, would make reports that are paid for with public funds open to the public under the Freedom of Information Act.
….. In defending his record, Correction Commissioner Stan Taylor pointed to the audit, prepared by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care, but denied a Freedom of Information request for the report by the newspaper. Taylor and former Attorney General M. Jane Brady ruled the accreditation report was not a public document. Taylor, though, said the audit was critical of the work of First Correctional Medical, a Tucson, Ariz., company. In July, Gov. Ruth Ann Minner and Taylor awarded a $25.9 million no-bid contract to Correctional Medical Services of St. Louis to pick up the provision of medical care in Delaware’s prisons.