Washington, D.C.,’s Council narrowly rejected Corizon Health’s controversial contract proposal for the city's jail after weeks of fierce arguments and heavy lobbying by supporters and opponents, the Washington Post reports. The 6-to-5 vote against a $66 million plan was a high-profile defeat for Mayor Muriel Bowser. Her spokesman, Michael Czin, said D.C. would have to spend more on inmate medical services while a new bidding process is conducted.
Contract opponents cast the decision as a victory for inmate care and a rejection of a company mired in legal troubles in other states, including several high-profile wrongful-death lawsuits. “I am happy that the council stood up for the most vulnerable residents in D.C.,” said Deborah Golden of the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. “I think Corizon has a record of shoddy and unconstitutional care across the country.” Bowser and other supporters backed Corizon, which had beaten three other bidders during an 18-month procurement process, because it was the most qualified provider and because it was important to respect the city's independent bidding system.