Monday, June 11, 2012

Did Ohio's AG Bend the Law to Help Privatization?

That's basically the conclusion of this analysis, which says that Attorney General Mike DeWine's ruling that the Ohio State Police would still be responsible for investigating crimes at the Conneaut prison the state sold to CCA was a politically-motivated, and possibly illegal, action.  Essentially, the author claims that DeWine overruled a couple of career attorneys in his office to hand down his ruling, which facilitated the politically perilous privatization venture -- folks in Conneaut were initially up in arms over the potential the sale had to unduly strain its police resources.

So a governor who hired a former CCA employee as the director of his DOC decided to sell a prison to CCA, then after some of his constituents were rightfully upset and fearful at the ramifications that would have for them, his attorney general bent the law to quell those concerns.  The attorney general happens to be the same guy who rallied federal support to re-open a private prison (with a $129 million contract to CCA) a few years ago that's been at the center of a dispute over back taxes.  Great.

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