Tuesday, August 19th18.9°C
22938
21705

Idaho governor orders police to conduct criminal investigation of CCA prison understaffing

BOISE, Idaho - Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has ordered the state police to conduct a criminal investigation of understaffing and falsified documents at a private prison operated by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA).

The governor made the decision Tuesday after meeting with Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden. Otter wrote in a letter to Idaho State Police Col. Ralph Powell that after reviewing the available information, including an audit completed by the forensic auditing firm KPMG, he now believed the public would benefit from a formal criminal investigation.

"After reviewing available information, including the KPMG audit report, I believe the public interest would benefit from a formal criminal investigation into the acknowledged falsification of Corrections Corporation of America's staffing records at the Idaho Correctional Center during 2012," Otter wrote in the letter to Powell. "Please accept this letter as my direction for the Idaho State Police to undertake such an investigation immediately, and to put whatever time, personnel and resources are necessary at the disposal of conducting it in a thorough and timely manner. I look forward to your findings and conclusions."

CCA spokesman Steve Owen has previously said the company has serious concerns with the KPMG audit and believes it contains multiple errors. CCA has hired an attorney and is trying to get KPMG to declare the audit "inconclusive."

Otter had previously supported Powell's decision not to investigate the company.

CCA has operated Idaho's largest prison for more than a decade. The Idaho Department of Correction asked the Idaho State Police to launch a criminal investigation into CCA last year after an Associated Press investigation showed that the Nashville, Tenn.-based company's staffing reports given to the state listed some guards as working 48 hours straight in order to meet minimum staffing requirements. CCA then acknowledged that its employees falsified the documents to hide understaffing at the prison in violation of the $29 million state contract.

For the past 12 months, state officials have said that the investigation was underway. But after the AP filed a public-records request for the Idaho State Police investigation documents, the law enforcement agency revealed no investigation ever occurred. Powell said he decided early last year that there was no crime to investigate, and instead he attended meetings with the Idaho Department of Correction as the department sifted through the documents gathered for the KPMG audit.

The KPMG audit found that more than 26,000 hours of mandatory guard posts were understaffed or otherwise problematic. CCA says that number overestimates the staffing problems by more than a third. CCA has agreed to pay the state $1 million to settle the understaffing issue.

Todd Dvorak, the spokesman for Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, said he couldn't share details of the meeting with Otter because it falls under attorney-client privilege.

"We join with the Governor and look forward to the findings and conclusions of the investigation," Wasden said in a prepared statement.

Owen, the CCA spokesman, could not be immediately reached for comment. CCA officials have previously said they were co-operating fully with the Department of Correction as department officials examined the understaffing issue, and that the company has taken steps to ensure the problem never happens again.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

21623


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15477.17+138.70
S&P CDNX997.566.94
DJIA16919.5980.85
Nasdaq4527.514+19.202
S&P 5001981.60+9.86
CDN Dollar0.9131-0.0011
Gold1295.40+0.30
Oil95.12+0.64
Lumber354.50+1.90
Natural Gas3.851-0.026

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.185-0.005
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.200.00
Cantex0.07+0.005
Anavex Life Sciences0.26+0.03
Metalex Ventures0.0850.00
Russel Metals37.22-0.15
Copper Mountain Mining2.77-0.11
Colorado Resources0.17-0.01
ReliaBrand Inc0.077-0.003
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.025-0.005
Mission Ready Services0.200.00

 





FEATURED Property
20260082-3300 Watt Road
3 bedrooms 3 baths
$2,395,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Going home to a bully!

Finally, after three months in New Brunswick, I am back home in the sunny Okanagan. It is a delight to be home and the lake, vistas, people and climate never disappoint. Like many people however, I...


Managing a business in 40 hours a week

My screen printing business, like many others, started as a one-man operation. It was located in a small building, not much better than a shack, with a telephone, a big table where I ate lunch and (oc...


The emperor's new clothes

The wealth market faces increasing competition and declining product differentiation. The wealth industry is responding to these emerging trends with “new” and “unique” investm...

_








Member of BC Press Council


22814