Wexford Health Sources complained that the bidding process for Alabama’s $224 million inmate health care contract was biased toward its competitor Corizon, which was awarded the contract as the sole vendor that submitted a bid, reports AL.com. A Wexford executive made the complaint in a letter to Alabama’s top prison health care official in August 2012 to explain why his firm did not compete for the work. Three months later, a state attorney called Wexford’s claims “misunderstandings,” and a week after that Gov. Robert Bentley executed Corizon’s contract to provide health care to the state’s 25,000 inmates for three years.
Earlier this summer, the Southern Poverty Law Center sued the state in federal court, alleging inadequate healthcare in Alabama prisons. Corizon has tapped the powerful lobbying firm Maynard Cooper & Gale to fight the lawsuit on behalf of Alabama. State Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, said he will meet next week with the head of Alabama’s prison system to get answers about the Corizon contract.