Tuesday, December 21, 2010

You worry about your job...You may think you're safe, but...

In a continuing exclusive interview with The Legendary, McLennan County Sheriff's Officers Association President Ken Witt continued to describe the revenue bond financing scheme that led to construction of the Jack Harwell Detention Center as disingenuous in its nature.

Deputy Witt's accusations range from collusion between County officials and corporate officers to outright bribery and misapplication of funds.

He recalled that a Vice President of CEC (Civigenics), Inc., told fibs in his sales pitch of the revenue bond financing deal that was passed in a 3-2 vote of the Commissioners Court without voter approval of a $49.9 million bond issue.

“He told us that CEC would build us a jail at absolute no cost and the County would make money off it...That's just not the case,” said Deputy Pitt...

“You worry about your job...You may think you're safe... but what they're telling you and what you're getting are two different things.”

So far, the scheme has failed to break even, with more than half the 816-bed capacity of the privately operated jail standing empty and the entire 326-bed Courthouse Annex County Jail unoccupied. No overflow prisoners from Dallas and Houston have materialized, though interlocal government agreements are in place to allow them to be housed at a rate of $45 per day per inmate.

All the staff positions at the new jail are filled with privately employed individuals employed by the corporation.

“If they privatize the rest of the officers over at the jail, they might cut their salaries,” he predicted.

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