Over dinner in New York City, Florida Corrections Secretary James Crosby met in July with two executives of a company seeking a multimillion-dollar contract with his agency, reports the St. Petersburg Times. Crosby paid his own tab and said no state business was discussed. State bidding rules prohibit vendors and agency staffers from discussing pending contracts, except through official channels.
The company, G4S Justice Services, later won a three-year contract to monitor sex offenders in half the state. It won because it submitted the lowest price. The newspaper says the dinner meeting raises new questions about Crosby and a prison system already under investigation for allegations ranging from illegal steroid use to mishandling of recyling grants. In recent weeks, a close Crosby ally, former regional prison director Allen “A.C.” Clark, has quit, and the agency is under intense scrutiny for how it spends tax dollars. Yesterday, under criticism from legislators, prison officials reversed course and decided not to hire four companies to expand privatization of health care at South Florida prisons. Also, a high-ranking prison health care official, John Burke, quit his $95,000-a-year job amid questions about his past ties to a company that has a prison contract to package medicine for inmates. Burke cited “continued turmoil” over his past work for TYA Pharmaceuticals of Tallahassee and another company, MHM Services of Vienna, Va.