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Judge orders Scott admin to ‘cease and desist’ prison privatization bidding

by Dara Kam | November 5th, 2011

A Tallahassee judge has ordered Gov. Rick Scott‘s administration to “cease and desist” the bidding process for a prison privatization plan she earlier ruled was unconstitional.

Tallahassee Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford late Friday night put the brakes on Department of Corrections officials’ attempt to bypass her earlier decision that the way lawmakers ordered the privatization of the 18-county region in the southern portion of the start violated the state constitution.

In her order, Fulford pointed out that corrections officials reneged on a pledge made Thursday not to move forward with the bidding before a Nov. 16 hearing. Later the same day, the department announced it was reopening the procurement and bids would be accepted after Nov. 10, Fulford wrote.

Fulford ruled on Sept. 30 that lawmakers should not have included the privatization plan in the must-pass state budget but instead should have ordered it in a stand-alone bill.

Scott opted not to appeal, but Attorney General Pam Bondi filed a last-minute appeal late Monday on behalf of state lawmakers, setting the stage for Friday’s court showdown.

In granting the emergency stay to the Florida Police Benevolent Association, Fulford wrote that “defendants are not likely to succeed on the merits on appeal.”

On Thursday, DOC officials announced they were again taking bids from vendors to take over 29 prisons and other correctional operations because the appeal, filed with the First District Court of Appeals in Tallahassee, lifted the stay on her previous order. But they said they would not sign any contracts until the litigation was complete.

That prompted the PBA, the union that filed the original lawsuit on behalf of the state’s corrections and probation workers, to ask for an emergency hearing on Friday, where Fulford heard testimony from the PBA and assistant attorney general Jonathan Glogau.

Glogau argued that reopening the bids would not harm the 4,000 state employees now working at the 29 prisons and workcamps in the region.

“Nothing of any importance to their clients was going to happen between now and the 16th,” Glogau said. “How are they affected by opening the bids?”

But Jim Baiardi, the president of PBA’s chapter for correctional officers, testified that the new bidding process created a heightened state of anxiety for employees already worried about having to look for new jobs or move.

“The panic has begun again,” he said. “Officers are concerned again.”

- The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

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27 Responses to “Judge orders Scott admin to ‘cease and desist’ prison privatization bidding”

  1. Michael Says:

    What a big suprise! Our govenor and his lap dog pick and choose what laws they want to adhere to. All on our dime. Goverment by the campaign contributors for the contributors.

  2. Joe Says:

    Next is rescinding the ILLEGAL pension adjustment to all state workers. Again….. against the LAW!!! KINDA LIKE WHEN HE BROKE THE LAW YEARS AGO AND WALKED.

  3. Yeah! Says:

    Thank God for her honor!
    This bald headed dictator must be stopped! His creating and passing laws along with his band of flying monkees is putting our entire state at risk of being controlled by corporations. Fight back everyone! How much money do you really need? Enough to live an honest happy fulfilling life

  4. Hal Says:

    Billions Behind Bars (CNBC)- The prisons are turning into factories for large corporations with forced labor available for their profit. Thank the Judge!

  5. Downtown Danny Says:

    IF WE DO NOT RECALL SCOTT – by 2014 he will have sold off every valuable asset the state has to his crook pals and robbed our treasury blind – while hurting every worker in his path.

  6. Big Dem Says:

    Another political appointee of Charlie Crist rewards govt worker unions at the expense of taxpayers. Only on the bench for 2 years, she is already handing out the goodies to pay back those who got her appointed.

  7. whasup Says:

    The union officials have said all along that they expected the judge’s first ruling to be appealed all the way to the Supreme Court.

    So then, why is a union boss now claiming “panic” in order to stop the opening of bids?

    Isn’t this all about the union trying to keep hidden from the people the fact that the government is overspending on prisons, and the proof of that would be opening bids to show that private companies can run them much cheaper?

    Why do the union bosses want to hide information from the taxpayers?

  8. mike Says:

    No one should do buisness with rick scott.

  9. Lulu Says:

    Overspending on prisons??!!! You have got to be joking! Once again the working class get shafted!

  10. Joe Says:

    Uh, Unions are necessary, because if they didn’t exist, all employees would be in the same boat as a WalMart employee. Come on Republicans, tell me I’m wrong. I’m sure you’ll try, as you wealthy 1% ask for another tax break.

  11. Jorge Says:

    Sadly he was appointed by the voter here in Florida…..brainless voters that don’t think just follow like zombies…we need to vote OUT this governor next election I am forward to vote him OUT…..let’s do it Floridian I don’t care any more about parties both are the same b.s…….

  12. whasup Says:

    @lulu,

    What’s wrong. Are you and the union bosses afraid of regular folks whose taxes pay for your salaries and pensions finding out that we don’t need to finance your lifestyles at higher rates than our own?

    Nearly 1 million Floridians don’t even have jobs, much less the nice pensions and health benefits that the prison guards get.

    If prisons can be run at 7% less, or with even more savings, why shouldn’t the taxpayers consider what we spend now as overspending?

  13. calyphate Says:

    Ah, I see Rick Scott’s paid shills are hitting the comments sections this morning.

    The regular folks who pay for us get a hell of a lot out of their money. Do you have any clue what correctional officers have to deal with?

    Gunning, spitting, getting urine thrown at them, inspecting, reporting, all in the context of dealing with some of the most vile and mentally ill people of our society.

    You trust that to a rent-a-cop?

  14. jesus Says:

    @whasup

    What makes you think or believe that the private companies can do 7% better? What, because they claim it???

    Go look at the salaries of the CEO’s of the GEO and CCA. Go look at the salaries of the presidents and vice-presidents of those companies. There are no savings. It is just getting siphoned from the guard to the top in a real, big way.

    I appreciate that you want government to run more efficiently but this is not the answer. Incarcerating people should not be a business.

    You may agree or disagree with the law in Arizona. However, if you follow the money, you will see that the 2 large prison corporations in this country helped create those laws to benefit themselves and their bottom line. I am sure that even you don’t agree with that.

  15. Dee Says:

    There is only one thing that can stop Rich Scott.It’s faster than a speeding bullet. He is the most unethical, inhumane, anti American in office. He makes W almost look good. Well on the other hand!!!!

  16. dick Says:

    The running of any government department is NOT the business of the courts whether or not this is a good idea or not by the Governor. There has to be some legal reason to step in but not to decide on it’s ‘efficiency” or “wisdom”.

  17. jb Says:

    Scott is evil… florida popo’s are one big corrupt bunch…. yea, let’s make locking people up a cash cow..please…

    let’s talk about the 19 prisoners per month that escape from the work release programs, then huge police manhunts with helicopters follow… talk about wasting money… what a waste.

  18. calyphate Says:

    Dick, the legal reason to “step in” – that is, to issue a preliminary injunction – was clearly explained in the opinion. You need a copy of it?

  19. calyphate Says:

    Your post is so full of logical fallacies and discrepancies that it is difficult to respond to.

    “Scott is evil” – yeah, megalomanical and psychopathic. Agreed.

    “‘Popo’” are exactly the people who have challenged the privatization and won. Twice. They’re the ones opposing for-profit prison privatization.

    “19 escapees per month” – what in the hell does that have to do with privatization? They’re always caught, and work release is mandated by the legislature.

    Care to make a modicum of sense?

  20. Mike Says:

    Hurry up and overturn the decision so we can move on with the bidding.

  21. JImbo Says:

    Doesn’t sound like the judge was very happy with the DOC for stating that they were not going to continue with the bid process, and then immediately continued with it. That was dumb.

  22. whasup Says:

    @jesus,

    Go evaluate the evidence about how much the current private prisons are run and how much less expensively they do it than the state.

    Reality doesn’t fit your perspective and agenda, so you ignore it.

    Sad, really sad.

  23. Rick Says:

    Let the corporations run the trials, judges, etc. We won’t need juries. The corporations will know when they need more prisoners and fill the cells. Then they can process Soylent Green to feed the inmates. Get rid of the constitution too. Let republicans find toilet paper elsewhere.

  24. Let Bridges of America run the jails! Says:

    Administrators step down amid Penn State scandal ~ Mirrors Green Isle Ranch Investigation!

    Gov Scott could let Lake Sheriff Gary Borders run the state prisons cheaper! Borders would be having sex with them like he does his jail inmates and young boys from his Green Isle Boys Ranch and billing the taxpayers though his Bridges of America scam! They have already billed us over $10 MILLION this year for abusing juveniles in the care!

    Top Penn State officials charged with covering up allegations of an explosive child-sex abuse scandal related to a former defensive coordinator stepped down late Sunday after an emergency meeting of the university’s Board of Trustees.

    Curley and Schultz were charged Saturday after a grand jury investigation of former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. He’s been charged with sexually abusing eight boys over 15 years.

    “This is a case about a sexual predator who used his position within the university and community to repeatedly prey on young boys,” state Attorney General Linda Kelly said Saturday.
    The allegations against Sandusky, who started The Second Mile in 1977, range from sexual advances to touching to oral and anal sex. The young men testified before a state grand jury that they were in their early teens when some of the abuse occurred; there is evidence even younger children may have been victimized. Sandusky’s attorney Joe Amendola said “his client has been aware of the accusations for about three years” and has maintained his innocence.

    So I guess it takes three years to bring these atrocities to light! How long will it take Governor Scott’s investigation into the allegations of the sexual abuse and rapes of the boys at Sheriff Gary Borders Green Isle Ranch? The Governor ordered the FDLE to investigate these allegations which were covered up by Borders but, Borders long time friend and former Sheriff’s association spokesman and then FDLE’s spokesman Tom Berlinger simply covered up the cover up! Once the Governor’s legal team found out Berlinger was an insider and long time Borders friend from the old jail days, Berlinger ducked his tail, took retirement and was off to his Longmont, Colorado mountainside villa.

    The reason these cases take so long to resolve is because so many people, even eye witnesses lie about what they have seen, turn their heads on the victims and protect the aggressors at all cost! Mostly over money! Everyone who lies does so because they believe they have something to lose!

    As in the Green Isle Boys Ranch sex abuse and rapes which span over twenty years the victims have begged and begged for redress! Gary Borders has blocked their cries at ever step of the way! Just like the long ongoing Penn State crimes that have taken years to come to light, the people of Lake County and the victims of Green Isle as well as some victims of sexual abuse in the Lake County Jail (eyewitnesses lied about some of this) deserve their day before the Grand Jury to bring the truth about these atrocities to light. There was not politics involved in 1987 when Borders and his Bridges of America friend Don Brown started the Green Isle Boys Ranch and there is not politics involved now! Just like always, it’s all about the victims who have been abused over and over and over again! In there lives these nightmare’s never go away, they sleep with them and they wake with them! Many of these victim’s were between the ages of 11 and 15 when they were abused!

    Want you please join the victim’s of the Green Isle Boys Ranch and call or email Governor Rick Scott to the attention of Warren Davis and ask him how the Green Isle Ranch Investigation is progressing and when will they be releasing the outcome of that investigation!

    Just as with the Penn State scandal – The Green Isle Boys Ranch and the Lake County Jail sex allegations all boil down too – who knew what and when did they know it! Why did they lie to the officials investigating these allegations? Are they ready to tell the truth this time! The officials know you lied and could have charged you for lying but chose not to do so.

  25. mike Says:

    Whasup, you have contradictory beliefs. You display envy at other peoples salaries and pensions and advoctate class warfare against them.At the same time,you are a proponent of private companies acting as middlemen who take the union’s place. Unions are corporations of workers. Corporations created to operate prisons or other once public services only redistribute wealth to a few and the savings they promise never really materialize.
    These non-union workers soon require public assistance in the form of Food Stamps, Medicaid, and other costly services. I expect you don’t that anymore than I do. Only difference is you bought the bamboozle that private is better 100% of the time.

  26. RobWPB Says:

    @mike… Hmmmm.. You really think Unions are ‘corporations of workers’? Funny. Get this! Unions are run by a small number of people using the WORKERS AS PAWNS and the TAXPAYERS MONEY as their bottomless bank accounts. The Union leaders are not ‘employees or workers’ they are like the MANAGEMENT of any PRIVATE company, they abuse bonuses and take advantage of every tax break they can and they are willing to strong arm (beat, mame, kill) to get their way and keep that MONEY coming in…. UNIONS ARE RAPING THE TAXPAYER!!!!!!

  27. Rick Says:

    @RobWPB! It is a shame you do not work in a slave shop. You richly deserve to. Without unions there is no middle class, and we are heading back to those times. You poor moron you.

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