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Nov 23, 2021

Boston mayor divests city from fossil fuels, tobacco products and private prison industries

BOSTON, (WWLP) - Boston Mayor Michelle Wu has signed an ordinance designed to divest the city from fossil fuels. The ordinance signed Monday will prohibit the use of public funds from being invested in the stocks, securities or other obligations of any company which gets more than 15% of its revenue from fossil fuels. The ordinance also includes companies with more than 15-percent of their revenue from tobacco products or private prison industries.


November 17, 2011 Salem News
A former employee of Civigenics, the company which provides prison management at the Columbiana County Jail filed a wrongful termination suit Tuesday in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court. Stephen Crea, East Liverpool, claims age discrimination was behind the company releasing him on May 19. He was 60 years old when he was let go and the person who replaced him was under 40. Warden Gary Grimm reportedly told him "it is better that we part ways now" and let him go without further explanation, according to court documents. Besides lost wages and benefits, the court documents also allege Crea's civil rights were violated. He is seeking in excess of $25,000 in damages.

May 21, 2007 New York Times
A company based in New Jersey that provides training and treatment programs to prison inmates is announcing today that it has bought a similar Massachusetts company, creating one of the largest correctional services companies in the country. The two companies — Community Education Centers of Roseland, N.J., and CiviGenics of Marlborough, Mass. — are trying to capitalize on the growing number of inmates and tight financing for new prisons that have led federal, state and local governments to contract out more of their operations to private businesses. States have also addressed the shortage of prison space by trying to reduce recidivism with more training and treatment programs for inmates. About 70 percent of those released from prison return within three years, according to some studies. “There’s a tremendous focus on the re-entry of inmates,” said John J. Clancy, chief executive of Community Education Centers. “If people are going to continue to get out of prison, the question is how they get out.” The two privately held companies, which together are expected to employ about 3,500 people in 22 states and have close to $240 million in revenue next year, did not disclose the financial terms of the agreement. However, people with knowledge of the transaction said Community Education Centers paid more than $100 million for CiviGenics.

January 13, 2007 The Telegram & Gazette
Spectrum Health Systems Inc., its former management company and a former executive have agreed to repay about $7.5 million to the state to settle charges that Spectrum misused state money. The office of Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly reported yesterday that Spectrum will pay the state $3.5 million and add four new independent trustees to its board. CiviGenics Inc. of Marlboro, which held a management contract with Spectrum from 1996 to 2002, will pay the state $3.4 million, Mr. Reilly’s office said, and CiviGenics President Roy Ross will pay the state $650,000. Under the agreement with the attorney general’s office, none of the parties admitted any wrongdoing. Spectrum President and Chief Executive Charles J. Faris said yesterday that at Spectrum, “there was no wrongdoing.” “Basically we’re just satisfied that we’re getting an issue that’s five years old finally resolved, and that we can get back to performing the services we’ve always been noted for,” Mr. Faris said. CiviGenics and Mr. Ross did not return phone calls yesterday seeking comment. Spectrum, with 700 employees, is a nonprofit human services organization that concentrates on treatment programs for substance abusers. It has operations in Massachusetts and five other states. In Massachusetts, Spectrum’s biggest state client is the Department of Youth Services. Spectrum also provides services for the state Department of Public Health and the Department of Correction. In 2004, state Auditor A. Joseph DeNucci released an audit claiming that Spectrum had misused $17.4 million in state money over 10 years, mostly through a no-bid contract that allegedly funneled $10.2 million in excessive payments to CiviGenics. The audit also alleged that Spectrum paid nearly $1 million in unallowed compensation to a former chairman for undocumented consulting services provided while he was living in Alaska and Florida. In addition, the auditors questioned a $3.3 million Spectrum purchase of Boston Road Clinic from CiviGenics. CiviGenics operates prisons and substance abuse programs in secure facilities. Mr. Ross, its president, formerly ran Spectrum. Mr. DeNucci’s office turned its audit results over to the attorney general’s office in 2004, and since then, state auditors have not re-examined Spectrum, said Glenn A. Briere, a spokesman for Mr. DeNucci. “Informally, we hear things, and we’ve been led to believe the management at Spectrum has made considerable improvements since our audit, as a result of our audit,” Mr. Briere said. “Certainly the auditor did not want to see them put out of business. They do good work.” Under its agreement with the state, Spectrum must add four new independent members to its board of trustees, and at least two of them must have nonprofit governance or financial expertise. The state said Spectrum must review its bylaws and procedures and create education programs for its trustees. The trustees, the state said, must beef up on law, accounting, finance, employee compensation and other topics related to their duties. Mr. Faris said Spectrum always looks for experts in those areas when it recruits trustees. He said the board has not yet added four new trustees, but expects to do so this year. The governance and board requirements represent a significant element of the settlement, Mr. Briere said. “The members of these boards are supposed to be watching what the state does,” Mr. Briere said. “They have a fiduciary responsibility to make sure these corporations, these agencies, are operating not only in the best interests of their businesses, but in the best interests of the communities paying them to do this work.”

February 27, 2004
A Worcester-based health-care company that provides substance-abuse and mental-health services to teens, prison inmates, and others improperly billed the state for more than $17 million in management fees over a 10-year period, according to a report issued yesterday by state Auditor Joseph DeNucci.  The company, Spectrum Health Systems Inc., is one of the largest private providers of health services to clients whose care is paid for by the state.  Spectrum operates a community resource center in Lowell that serves inmates making the transition from prison back to the community. The company also provides a range of services to inmates at the state prisons in Concord and Shirley.  DeNucci's office yesterday released a detailed audit of the company's operations from 1992 to 2002. Auditors found that the company paid excessive fees totaling $10.2 million to its for-profit management company, CiviGenics, for which it then received reimbursement from the state. CiviGenics was founded by Spectrum's former CEO.  The audit also found that the company paid a former chairman nearly $1 million for consulting fees when he lived in Alaska and Florida but found no documentation of his services; purchased a financially strapped clinic from CiviGenics for $3.3 million; and used taxpayers' money to offset losses for programs it operates in other states.  "Spectrum provides a variety of valuable public health services, but its past fiscal practices were filled with abuses of public funds," DeNucci said in a statement. "Some improvements have already taken place and I am hopeful that Spectrum will continue to be more fiscally responsible in the future."  In response to the audit, Spectrum management acknowledged that the company was "disserved" in its relationship with CiviGenics, which was responsible for Spectrum's day-to-day operations and with which it has now severed ties.  "It's important to keep in mind that this agreement (with CiviGenics) ended almost two years ago at this point. This is not the same company that it was two years ago," said Spectrum CEO Charles Faris.  Faris said the company's managers "recognized that we weren't getting value for this contract well before the state auditors came in."  "We were taking steps to terminate this agreement months before," Faris said. The agreement between the two companies was terminated in 2002.  DeNucci's office wants Spectrum to reimburse the state for the full amount it claims was improperly billed.  (Lowell Sun)

Massachusetts Department of Corrections
Correctional Medical Services
June 30, 2007 Boston Herald
A Suffolk judge has slapped down a lawsuit alleging improprieties in the awarding of a $300 million contract to provide medical care to prison inmates. Judge Allan Van Gestel denied an injunction filed by Correctional Medical Services that would have blocked the state from a five-year contract with the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Correctional Medical Services argued the bidding process was rigged in favor of UMass by Patrick administration officials. The judge’s ruling clears the way for the DOC to finalize the contract.

June 27, 2007 Boston Globe
A company that unsuccessfully bid on a contract to provide medical services inside the state's prisons filed suit yesterday, seeking to block the awarding of the $300 million contract to the University of Massachusetts Medical School, which already provides health services to the state's prisoners. Correctional Medical Services, which provided health services to the state's prison population from 1994 to 2002, contends that its proposal was superior, less expensive for taxpayers, and rated higher by an evaluation team. In addition, the firm's lawyers allege that UMass officials improperly obtained an internal memorandum from the evaluation team, which recommended that the correction commissioner choose either UMass or Correctional Medical Services, and then lobbied state officials, seeking to influence their decision, in violation of state bidding laws. A hearing on the firm's request for an injunction is scheduled tomorrow in Suffolk Superior Court. The Missouri-based firm bills itself as the nation's premier provider of healthcare services to prisons and jails, with a presence in 27 states. State officials defended the selection process. "Following a fair and open procurement process, the [Correction Department] awarded the contract to the vendor who it determined would provide the best value to the Commonwealth," said spokeswoman Diane Wiffin. "We are confident the Commonwealth and the Department of Correction will be well served with UMass as the provider of medical services."

Department of Education
Oct 17, 2015
Another janitor arrested in theft at a Chelmsford school
CHELMSFORD -- Another Aramark custodian at Chelmsford High School has been charged with theft after a month-long investigation into missing cafeteria funds, police said. Jowell Ramos, 19, of Lawrence, is charged with larceny from a building in connection with a series of thefts from a cafeteria register. Police said Ramos will no longer be allowed on any Chelmsford school property. According to School Committee Chairman Al Thomas, another Aramark employee who allegedly acted as a lookout for Ramos was not charged but was also removed from the school. On Sept. 29, a school administrator reported to police that someone had been stealing money from the cafeteria cash drawer for several weeks, police said. Cafeteria staff place the cash drawer in a locked closet after every shift. There were several occasions where employees noticed the drawer was not balanced at the start of the morning shift. Staff reported there were no signs of forced entry into the closet. In addition to cafeteria workers, janitors have keys to the closet. Two police detectives investigated and found evidence allegedly linking Ramos to the missing cash. "This is an unfortunate situation where a man allegedly stole from his place of employment on several instances," Police Chief Jim Spinney said in a statement. "I applaud the work of the detectives who were able to successfully identify the suspect in this case." Since the School Department outsourced custodians to Aramark in 2011, three employees of the company have been charged with stealing items belonging to the schools, students and staff. A subcontractor with the company was also arrested on a warrant for failure to appear in court for a drug charge after a Chelmsford traffic stop. The most recent alleged theft involving an Aramark employee was in June, when Ayer resident Donald Beardsley was accused of stealing several computers and other items from the schools. In May, Lamar Wright, of Mattapan, was accused of breaking into CHS lockers and stealing equipment, cash and student property, including a credit card that was later used at a local convenience store. In 2013, Corey Ralls, of Lowell, was accused of breaking into a locked McCarthy Middle School nurse's office cabinet and stealing dozens of pills belonging to students for treatment of attention deficit disorder. "Obviously, I'm not pleased," Thomas said of the thefts. "We're looking at options in terms of whether Aramark will be able to stay with us or not. This has just become more than we're able to deal with. It has not been what we expected." He said the Aramark contract is up on June 30, the end of the fiscal year. A group comprised of School Committee members and school and town staff have been assessing janitorial needs for the facilities, Thomas said. "We're moving as quickly as we can to consider options so that we can take action in a timely fashion," he said. Superintendent Jay Lang called the incident "disappointing" and the behavior "unacceptable." He said police worked closely with school staff to investigate the matter and actions were taken as soon as the employee was identified. "It was a relatively small amount of money, but it's more the principle of someone who you would trust stealing from you, that's the issue here," Lang said. Jim Durkin, director of legislation, political action and communications for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 93, a union representing public custodial workers in New England, said he hopes this incident will be the tipping point for Chelmsford to bring union custodians back into the schools. He said the previous school administration had called the first arrest in 2011 "an isolated incident," but that clearly has not been the case. "When is the School Committee going to wake up and realize they made a critical mistake?" Durkin said. "They need to do whatever it takes to bring these custodian services back in-house." An Aramark spokesperson did not return a request for comment Fri

Massachusetts Legislature

October 30, 2002
Nine years after Massachusetts instituted the strictest-in-the-nation anti privatization statue, the law is costing taxpayers millions of dollars a year while thwarting efforts to resolve the state's fiscal crisis, according to a report being released today by a conservative public-policy research group.  As states across the country reap huge savings by contracting out functions such as human resources, information technology, even prison management, the Pacheco Law has blocked similar moves here, the pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research asserts.  (Globe Staff)

Framingham, Massachusetts
Correctional Medical Service

December 10, 2007 Boston Globe
She was born in the fall of 1968, shortly after her mother, an inmate at MCI-Framingham, went into labor at the state's only prison for women. She died 31 years later after hanging herself with a bed sheet at the same prison. For Rachael Day, suicide was the last desperate act of a woman whose life began pitifully and ended the same way. By the time of her death on Jan. 5, 2000, she had been charged with nearly 80 street crimes, used as much heroin and cocaine as she said she could find, and lived with a violent drug dealer who fathered two of her four children. But although Day's death in the prison where her mother bore her had a harrowing symmetry, it could have been prevented, her family said in a wrongful death lawsuit pending against the state in Suffolk Superior Court. Day had made at least two prior suicide attempts, according to prison and court records. Just 21 days before she died, she hanged herself with a shirt while left alone for five to seven minutes in a cell in the lockup at the US District Courthouse in Boston, where she was being held on a federal probation violation. But she survived. Day's mother, Kathleen Day, contends in the suit that medical staff at the Framingham prison - where Rachael Day was transferred after the suicide attempt - inadequately evaluated the risk of another attempt and took her at her word when she said she had not intended to kill herself in the lockup incident. Rachael Day's own assessment was plainly unreliable, the suit said. "She was brain-damaged, and she was telling everybody she was going to kill herself," Kathleen Day, who also has a record of drug offenses and other crimes, said in an interview. "Definitely, it could have been prevented." Day's family has been in settlement talks for months with the state and Correctional Medical Services, a contractor that helped provide mental health services at the prison. But Rachael Day's eldest daughter, Kathleen U. Carter, a 21-year-old student at Cambridge College, said she sometimes wishes the case would go to trial to expose the state's care of her mother. She said her mother should have been on a suicide watch in Framingham. Victoria A. Crawshaw, a lawyer defending Correctional Medical Services, declined to comment on the case. Attorney General Martha Coakley's office referred questions to the Department of Correction, which said it does not comment on pending litigation. Day's suicide was one of six at the prison since 1995, although only one occurred after 2000.

Middleton Jail
Middleton, Massachusetts
Correctional Medical Services

April 20, 2006 Boston Herald
Just like the 1938 melodrama “Prison Nurse,” passions boiled over behind bars for real-life slammer medic Sandra Rosa when she became fevered for a caddish con she met inside the Middleton jail. But Rosa’s romance did not have a happy ending. By the time the 25-year-old LPN unchained her heart from Felix “Flex” Melendez - a violent felon she bailed out so they could be together - Rosa had lost her job and been bloodied and robbed by her dream man. “No comment,” Rosa said yesterday outside her home in Lowell, her lip no longer swollen from where Melendez’ fist landed two weeks ago after he allegedly picked her pockets of $1,300 during a makeout session in her brother’s borrowed Cadillac. Melendez, 26, of Methuen, whose numerous convictions include armed robbery and heroin dealing, was awaiting trial for larceny when he fell into a forbidden flirtation with Rosa, a nurse in the jail’s infirmary staffed and run by Correctional Medical Services. It’s unclear for how long the couple canoodled in the can, but word on the prison grapevine eventually reached Essex Sheriff Frank Cousin’s security team. On March 29, after love letters Rosa wrote Melendez were seized from his cell, she was escorted off the property. “Based upon information we received, there was some familiarity between the nurse and the inmate that was inappropriate,” said Cousin’s spokesman, Paul Fleming. Fleming did not identify Rosa by name, but said she was employed by CMS. CMS declined to comment.

Pilgrim Nuclear Power
July 24, 2003
A strike vote is set for Thursday by Pilgrim nuclear power plant security officers who say they are being forced to work longer than the 48-hour week agreed to in a tentative contract earlier this year. "This is not an economic issue. This is a quality of life issue," said Mark Shean, president of Local 540. "Security is not enhanced by a work force of zombies." Shean said the union agreed to a work week of four 12-hour days and three consecutive days off. But, he said, Wackenhut Corp., the Florida-based contractor that handles security for Pilgrim, wants the right to call workers in on their days off. Shean said the union does not intend to walk off the job this week, but is taking the strike vote to gain leverage in the contract dispute. Both sides have submitted petitions to the National Labor Relations Board, which is slated to hear the case in August. A spokesman for Wackenhut could not be reached for comment. But Entergy spokesman David Tarantino said the nuke plant will be well-guarded if the workers walk. "There are contingency plans in place to maintain the level of security we have, even if an action does take place," Tarantino said. "We are hoping that that's a remote possibility and that the NLRB will resolve the issue."  (The Boston Herald

Suffolk County House of Corrections
(AKA South Bay House of Corrections)
Suffolk County, Massachusetts
Prison Health Services now Corizon (formerly run by Correctional Medical Services)

May 23, 2012 Boston Globe
A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit that had been filed against Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea J. Cabral and the superintendent of the county jail to hold them responsible for the death of a 49-year-old immigrant detainee who was sickened while in the jail’s custody and who later died from a attack caused by a bacterial infection. But the judge did let a lawsuit proceed against Prison Health Services, the private Tennessee-based company that managed the jail infirmary.

May 16, 2011 Boston Globe
The daughter of a 49-year-old immigrant detainee who died in 2009 after an infection overwhelmed his body filed a federal lawsuit yesterday, accusing officials at the Suffolk County House of Correction and its privately run infirmary of gross negligence leading to his death. The claim, which was filed electronically with US District Court in Boston, seeks unspecified damages in the October 2009 death of Pedro Tavarez, a Providence shuttle driver who was in jail fighting deportation to the Dominican Republic. In the lawsuit, Judith Tavarez of Florida accuses jail and infirmary officials of reckless neglect, saying her father “died from a heart attack caused by a massive sepsis infection that the defendants failed to properly treat.’’ The lawsuit, which alleges civil rights violations and medical malpractice, cites a federal report last year that said Suffolk officials waited too long to take Tavarez to the hospital, allowing the infection to spread. His death triggered protests from advocates for immigrants and others concerned about detainees’ care. “If our country is going to lock people up just because they want to come live with us, the very least we can do is provide them decent medical care,’’ said Robert Sinsheimer, the Boston lawyer who represents Judith, Tava rez’s only child. “My client lost her dad because our government failed to properly discharge this most basic duty. This is not just a lawsuit, it’s a moral outrage.’’ The lawsuit names Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea J. Cabral and jail superintendent Gerard Horgan, who supervise the jail, along with Prison Health Services, the private Tennessee-based company that manages the infirmary and which now goes by the name PHS Correctional Healthcare, according to its website. The claim also names Colleen Collins, a jail physician. In a statement last night, James M. Davin, the Suffolk County sheriff’s general counsel, denied that the Sheriff’s Department was indifferent to Tavarez’s care. He said the allegations in the claim “do not remotely support a civil rights complaint against any employee of the Sheriff’s Department,’’ and vowed to fight it. “Neither the sheriff, the superintendent, nor the unidentified corrections officers have a role in the medical care provided to inmates or detainees,’’ Davin said in the statement. “They were certainly not deliberately indifferent to his medical care. The allegations against all Sheriff’s Department defendants are denied, and the complaint will be vigorously defended.’’ Davin said Tavarez and his cellmates said they thought he had a cold when he asked to be seen by the infirmary on Oct. 14, 2009, and that Tavarez was seen by medical staff that night and taken to the infirmary. PHS Correctional Healthcare officials did not respond to requests for comment yesterday. Collins was not at the jail yesterday and could not be reached. Tavarez’s claim does not target US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, the federal agency in charge of immigrant detention and deportation. At that time, ICE was paying Suffolk $90 per person per day to house immigrant detainees facing deportation. In a review of Tavarez’s death last year, ICE’s Office of Professional Responsibility raised multiple issues with Tavarez’s care, including incomplete medical records, language barriers, and failure to complete basic tasks, such as consistently checking his vital signs and sending him to a hospital that was able to treat him.

July 30, 2010 Boston Globe
Medical staff at the Suffolk County jail waited too long in October to send a feverish and trembling immigrant detainee to the hospital, allowing a deadly bacterial infection to overtake his body and cause his death of heart failure at age 49, according to a report by the federal immigration agency obtained by the Globe. Pedro Tavarez, a Providence shuttle driver who was being held for deportation to the Dominican Republic, died Oct. 19 at a Boston hospital after a rapid decline that raised questions about medical care and government oversight at the Boston jail. Officials at the Suffolk County House of Correction have said that the infirmary, run by Tennessee-based Prison Health Services Inc., provides good care and has received high marks by reviewers. But the federal report found multiple barriers to medical care in Tavarez’s case, including incomplete medical records, language barriers, and staff that on several occasions failed to perform tasks in a timely manner, from checking his vital signs to sending him to a hospital that was unable to treat him.

December 2, 2009 Providence Journal
Pedro Juan Tavarez, a former Providence taxi driver who died Oct. 19 while in immigration custody, sought medical help for three days before Suffolk County House of Correction officials responded, according to preliminary witness statements reflected in recent court filings. The Massachusetts State Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Tavarez, a native of the Dominican Republic, died of cardiac arrest at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. The autopsy findings, released Monday, said Tavarez died from natural causes, said spokesman Terrel Harris. But family members are still questioning whether Tavarez’s death could have been prevented, and lawyers representing them are collecting evidence that they say could potentially lead to a civil-rights lawsuit. “If the investigation turns out that he didn’t receive the basic standard of care, we’ll probably make some type of civil-rights action. If not, it might end there,” said Christopher Heberg, a Cranston attorney who is representing Tavarez’s only child, Judith. “It appears he was sick and they didn’t do anything for awhile … Whether or not that’s the truth, we’ll find out.” Co-counsel Robert S. Sinsheimer said, “We’re going to do our best to speak to everyone who may have observed Mr. Tavarez during his last few days on earth.” He said the investigation is under way, but “we have an open mind and have not drawn any firm conclusion.” Tavarez’s sister, Milady Tavarez, of New York City, said Tuesday that her brother was diabetic but did not have a heart condition. She reiterated that the family was not notified of his deteriorating condition until he was comatose and on life support, two days before he died. Suffolk was the last in a series of detention facilities where Tavarez was held since Rhode Island State Police arrested him in April 2008 for speeding, and then learned he had an outstanding deportation warrant. Tavarez had a deportation appeal pending, his family said. Heberg and Sinsheimer, of Boston, are rushing to formally depose Tavarez’s former cellmates and other detainees at the Suffolk County facility with potential knowledge of his final days before the detainees are deported or moved. A federal judge granted the emergency restraining order two weeks ago that blocked ICE from deporting Leonel Bello and Domingo Martinez [aka Jose Familia] to the Dominican Republic. Martinez and Bello are among six Suffolk detainees who wrote a letter to Tavarez’s family alleging that Suffolk County detention authorities were slow to respond to Tavarez’s medical complaints. The petition Heberg and Sinsheimer filed on behalf of Judith Tavarez, states that Martinez and Bello reported that Tavarez was “in apparent good health” when first brought to the Suffolk facility. Martinez and Bello said Tavarez became ill on Monday, Oct. 12, and filed medical requests that day, Tuesday and Wednesday. By Wednesday night, Oct. 15, he was found “pale, shivering in a cocoon of blankets on his bed, and covered in sweat.” The petition states: “It appeared to the lay witnesses [Martinez and Bello] that he was dying. It appeared that he needed medical care much sooner than was provided.” The two lawyers have also petitioned to obtain medical records, video security camera footage “from any location where Mr. Tavarez may have traveled in the last month of his life;” audio recordings of communications between officers or telephone calls to ambulance services; photographs; handwritten notes; and file records concerning Tavarez. One of Tavarez’s former cellmates at Suffolk, Nuna Camara, was deposed Monday via teleconference from Texas, Heberg said. Camara has since been deported, or is “en route” to his country, said Christina Diorio-Sterling, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston. Martinez is scheduled to be deposed on Friday, and Bello is scheduled to be deposed on Monday, said Diorio-Sterling. The petition states that the circumstances surrounding Tavarez’s death “raise questions concerning whether Mr. Tavarez’s death was preventable and whether or not those who undertook to hold him in custody fulfilled their moral, ethical and legal obligations to him and his family.” Those questions include whether authorities named in the petition — including ICE; Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral; the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Prison Health Services Inc. [which regularly does business with the Suffolk County House of Correction] — failed “to provide reasonably available medical care for Mr. Tavarez and/or by engaging in a pattern of deliberate indifference to the quality of such care.” The case remains under investigation by the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility, said a spokesman.

October 10, 2005 WCVB TV
Federal prosecutors said they will not charge Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral following an investigation into whether she lied to a grand jury looking into the firing of a jailhouse nurse. The grand jury was investigating whether Cabral retaliated against nurse Sheila Porter for cooperating with federal authorities. An obstruction of justice charge could have been brought if there was evidence Cabral thwarted the investigation. Cabral was recently sent a letter notifying her that the 2-year-old investigation was closed and no charges would be filed, The Boston Globe reported Friday. Porter had told the FBI about the alleged abuse of an inmate at the Suffolk County House of Correction, the Globe reported. She later told the grand jury that when she was fired, a top sheriff's department official told her it was for speaking with "an outside agency." But Cabral told the grand jury that the nurse, Sheila Porter, was banned from working at the jail because she failed to file paperwork detailing a guard's alleged assault on an inmate, according to the Globe. Last fall, Porter, who had been working as an FBI informant since 1999, filed a $2 million federal lawsuit against Cabral, the Sheriff's Department, and Missouri-based Correctional Medical Services Inc. That case is pending.

July 22, 2005 Boston Globe
New court documents contradict statements from Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral, who has denied firing a jail employee for cooperating with an FBI investigation into abuse of inmates at the Suffolk County jail.  The filings include a deposition from Donna Jurdak, who was the supervisor of nurse Sheila J. Porter, the employee barred from working at the jail in 2003. The FBI is probing the circumstances surrounding Porter's firing.  Porter has also filed a civil suit, contending she was punished for being a whistleblower and informing for the FBI. Cabral has said that Porter was fired for failing to file proper paperwork about alleged abuse.  It is a federal crime to retaliate against anyone for providing information about criminal activity to law enforcement authorities.  Federal prosecutors are investigating whether Cabral committed perjury by lying to the federal grand jury about the reasons for the nurse's termination.  Porter, who helped the FBI investigate abuse from 1999 until she was let go, has filed a $2 million lawsuit against the sheriff, the jail, and the private company for whom she worked, Correctional Medical Services, saying she was retaliated against for being an FBI informant.  In her deposition, Jurdak, who was Porter's supervisor at CMS Inc., said that after Porter's dismissal, the FBI came to question her at the jail, but that she was afraid to speak to the agent, she said. ''My first reaction to be honest is . . . now I am going to be barred from the facility."

May 12, 2005 The Boston Channel
Federal prosecutors are investigating whether Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral lied to a grand jury investigating the firing of a jailhouse nurse, The Boston Globe reported Thursday. The paper, citing two unnamed sources with direct knowledge of the investigation, said the probe is focused on Cabral's testimony on the firing of a nurse at the Suffolk County House of Correction who was cooperating with an FBI investigation into inmate abuse at the jail. According to one source, Cabral told the grand jury that the nurse, Sheila Porter, was banned from working at the jail after she failed to file paperwork detailing a guard's alleged assault on an inmate. But Porter told the grand jury she was told she was banned because she spoke to an outside agency, the FBI, the Globe reported. Porter's employer, Correctional Medical Services Inc., said it was forced to fire her after she was banned. Federal prosecutors are considering whether to bring perjury or obstruction of justice charges against Cabral, a source told the Globe. An obstruction of justice charge can be brought if there is evidence she thwarted a federal investigation by retaliating against an employee. Porter last fall filed a $2 million federal lawsuit against Cabral, the Sheriff's Department, and Missouri-based Correctional Medical Services Inc.

September 28, 2001
The private company that provides medical care to inmate at the Suffolk County jail said the drug mix-up that sent five prisoners to the hospital was a "highly unusual" mistake.  Meanwhile, the mother of one of the inmates, who asked not to be identified, said yesterday that her son was hospitalized two weeks ago for the same reason.  On Sunday morning, inmates who were supposed to get a prescribed amount of Viracept, an anti-drug, instead were given high doses of Elavil, an anti-depressant, by Correctional Medical Services staff.  (Boston Globe)

September 24, 2001
Three inmates at the South Bay House of Correction in Boston yesterday were hospitalized - two of whom remained in serious condition last night - after overdosing on antidepressants they had been mistakenly given by the private company providing medical care at the Suffolk County facility, jail officials said.  The nurse who handed out the medication works for Correctional Medical Services of St. Louis, the nation's largest provider of health services for prisoners.  The company's application for a four-year contract with the state Department of Correction for at least $55 million is pending, said department spokesman Justin Latini.  At the jail yesterday morning, a total of five inmates were found unresponsive in their cells, according to Richard Lombardi, spokesperson for Suffolk County Sheriff Richard J. Rouse.  Their cellmates banged on the walls to alert guards.  The jail's emergency service team responded and the inmates were rushed to Boston Medical Center, Lombardi said.  Two of the five inmates did not need to be admitted.  "It would appear someone put the wrong medication in the envelope," Lombardi said.  (Boston Globe)

September 7, 2001 Boston Globe
The two men Suffolk County Sheriff Richard J. Rouse had chosen to lead an inquiry panel into his troubled department abruptly withdrew yesterday, citing concern about the appearance of conflicts of interest. As the Boston City Council moved toward its own hearings into a department beset by charges of systemic abuse and low standards, officials moved to resuscitate Rouse's probe after its co-leaders suddenly announced they could not serve. The Rev. Eugene F. Rivers III abandoned plans to help lead the inquiry after the Globe reported that Rivers's nonprofit organization, the Ella J. Baker House, is slated to receive $99,000 over three years in funds obtained by the sheriff's department through a federal grant. ''To avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest, even though none exists, and to ensure that there is no lingering hint of impropriety, I am recusing myself from participation,'' Rivers said. Rivers, pastor of the Azusa Christian Community in Dorchester, called for the George Lewis Ruffin Society, an organization of minority law enforcement officers in the state, to help organize an independent review. Two weeks ago, after a two-month investigation, a Globe series reported that sexual misconduct and brutality by Suffolk County guards is more widespread than previously acknowledged, and that Rouse was sometimes not working a full day. ''In view of the fact that a disproportionate percentage of the inmates in the Suffolk County House of Correction are black and brown, it is essential that an independent investigation be conducted to ensure that their legitimate interests and basic civil rights are defended,'' Rivers said. He added that he hoped the Ruffin Society would help develop an ''ombudsman structure which will provide some reasonable measure of public oversight of the operations of the jail.'' A representative of the Ruffin Society could not be reached for comment. Joining Rivers in withdrawing from the investigative panel Rouse announced last week was James A. Gondles Jr., executive director of the American Correctional Association. Gondles said he was dropping plans to serve as the panel's chief administrator because of his association's past and current ties to Rouse's department. In his place, Gondles said, the association's president, Betty Adams Green of Tennessee, a Nashville juvenile court judge, would select the correctional experts to review Suffolk County. ''I had in my own mind an issue that if the jail were accredited by the ACA, it would at least appear to be a conflict of interest for me as executive director and an employee to be on any kind of review team,'' Gondles said. ''No ACA employee is going to be a part of the team.'' Gondles's organization received $10,000 from Rouse's department for an audit of the Nashua Street Jail, the sheriff department's facility for detainees awaiting trial. In his annual report to staff members, Rouse said the American Correctional Association review was glowing in its praise of the department. Months later, seven officers were indicted in federal court on charges of beating inmates. The department has paid another $10,000 fee to the American Correctional Association for an audit, this time of the House of Correction, where prisoners serve sentences. The audit is scheduled for later this year. Rouse, through a spokesman, maintained yesterday that he saw no conflict of interest in Gondles's original role. ''We do not believe there was a conflict of interest,'' said the spokesman, Richard M. Lombardi. ''We respect the determination of the ACA to handle their review. Once we made the request of the ACA it was totally in their hands.'' Despite the withdrawal of Rivers and Gondles and the new role for Green, Lombardi insisted that plans for the review had not changed and that it was proceeding on course. Asked about the ACA's experience with similar reviews of other departments nationwide, the sheriff's department could not cite any cases it had examined before enlisting the agency to organize a search. But Green, who has specialized in juvenile corrections for 15 years, said she is confident that the panelists she has selected will conduct a thorough review in Suffolk County. ''The interest of the ACA is to constantly improve the quality of correctional services and programs, and to ensure a safe environment, both for the offenders we serve as well as the staff,'' Green said yesterday. She said it was her decision to have the American Correctional Association go forward with Rouse's request for a review. In defending the choice of the organization to review the department, Green said the association routinely offers ''technical assistance'' to some of the 20,000 correctional facilities that are its members. But when asked if she considered the Suffolk review to be technical assistance, Green said it would be ''far, far different.'' Citing American Correctional Association policy, Jeff Washington, deputy executive director, said yesterday that the organization would not divulge any information about past facilities where they have intervened unless those facilities granted permission to do so. The group was involved in a controversial review of the Maine Youth Center, a juvenile detention facility for the state that came under heavy criticism in October 1998. State officials in Maine hired the organization to conduct an independent investigation after the state Department of Education cited poor conditions at the center and Amnesty International documented complaints of abuse. But Maine legislators rejected the group's 10-page report as inadequate, saying it included few specifics and that its recommendations were too broad. The state quickly ordered a second review of the department by Edward Loughran, former head of the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, who issued a scathing report. Following Loughran's review, Governor Angus King unveiled a $25.5 million improvement plan for the state's juvenile corrections system. Meanwhile, the Boston City Council yesterday moved toward public hearings to investigate Rouse's department. The council's action came after a more-strongly worded resolution calling for the appointment of a special prosecutor was derailed by councilors who noted that an FBI probe is under way into allegations of abuse by Suffolk County guards. ''The FBI and the US attorney are all over that building right now,'' said City Councilor at Large Stephen J. Murphy. ''Let the US attorney and the FBI do their job, and appoint an independent commission on the management to look into those problems.'' City Council President Charles C. Yancey said he intends to meet with Rouse tomorrow to discuss upcoming City Hall hearings and to stress the need for an outside review of the Suffolk County sheriff's operations.

Stoughton, Massachusetts
Group 4 (Wackenhut)

January 13, 2005 Patriot Ledger
The state Department of Social Services will not take action against the parents of a 16-year-old girl who suffered a heroin overdose and was abandoned on the side of the road by the Vermont man who allegedly gave her the drugs. After shooting heroin Monday night with Alexander P. Gay, 21, at his mother's Greenbrook Drive condominium in Stoughton, the girl became sick, according to police. Fearing the worst, Gay, and two others began to drive her to the hospital, but on the way the 16-year-old fell unconscious causing Gay to worry about police involvement, investigators said. Gay stopped the car on Pratt's Court, about a mile from the condominium complex, pulled her out of the car and left the 16-year-old lying in a snow bank. The two others, Gay's 19-year-old girlfriend Ryan Baker of Taunton and another 16-year-old Stoughton girl, got out of the car and called 911 after Gay drove away. Baker and the other Stoughton girl led police to Gay's mother's condominium where he was arrested and charged with several felony drug violations and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Neither Gay nor his mother could be reached for comment. Court documents state that he works security for Wackenhut, a private security company, in Essex, Vt.

West Bridgewater Wendys
West Bridgewater, Massachusetts
Corrections Corporation of America

October 22, 2006 News Herald
The 19-year-old woman stripped naked in front of her boss in the manager’s room at the Winn-Dixie on 23rd Street more than three years ago because a voice on the phone said so. The teenager posed. She exposed. She did jumping jacks nude. For nearly two hours, a man who said he was a police officer orchestrated her humiliation over the phone. The voice told the girl’s boss, assistant manager James Marvin Pate, that she stole a purse. Police believe the man on the phone was David R. Stewart, of Fountain, said Sgt. Kevin Miller, of the Panama City Police Department. Authorities said Stewart, 39, made dozens of calls like this across the country for several years. The phone hoaxes sparked lawsuits against restaurant franchisees and chains like McDonald’s, Burger King and Applebee’s. Stewart’s first trial is scheduled to begin Tuesday in Mount Washington, Ky. In the Kentucky case, Stewart is accused of calling a McDonald’s on April 9, 2004, and posing as a police officer. Police said he told McDonald’s assistant manager Donna Summers a story similar to what the voice told the manager at the Panama City Winn-Dixie: He said a teenage female employee, Louise Ogborn, had stolen a purse and that she needed to be strip-searched. Summers and her ex-boyfriend, Walter Nix Jr., strip-searched Ogborn for about four hours, police said. Nix also had Ogborn perform sexual acts on him — all at the request of the caller. Mount Washington authorities charged Stewart with three counts of solicitation to commit sexual abuse, first degree; solicitation to commit sodomy, first degree; impersonating a police officer; and solicitation unlawful imprisonment, second degree. Incidents since the ’90s: Authorities said Stewart has peppered the country with calls dating back to the mid-1990s, mostly to chain restaurants. Usually, the man calls, identifies himself as a police officer, and says a female employee has drugs or has stolen something and must be strip-searched. In Panama City, the nightmare for a 19-year-old cashier began on July 12, 2003, at Winn-Dixie, when a fellow employee told her to report to the manager’s office, according to a PCPD incident report. According to the police report, which blacked out the name of the victim, what happened next lasted nearly two hours: Assistant manager Pate, 39, was waiting and handed her the phone. On the line was a man who said he was Officer Tim Peterson with the Panama City Police Department. The voice said she stole a purse and gave her two choices: Either strip naked in front of Pate or be brought down to the jail, where she’d be strip-searched in front of a lot more people. The voice also said Pate had the authority to keep her there and strip-search her, while the voice verified everything over the phone. The cashier agreed. Pate told her what to take off, and she complied out of fear of being taken to jail. She placed each item of clothing in a plastic bag. Pate described the cashier’s naked body in intimate detail to the voice on the phone, according to the police report. The voice commanded the cashier to pose in various positions that exposed her breasts, anal and vaginal areas to Pate. Toward the end of the woman’s ordeal, grocery manager Thomas Moton, 49, entered the office looking for a a key to unload a truck at the store’s rear dock. When he entered, the cashier was doing jumping jacks, and Pate had the receiver to his ear. “Pate said the boss is on the phone,” Moton said. “I thought the store manager was on the phone.” Moton said he thought something wasn’t right. He wanted to get the other assistant manager, but Pate said the voice on the phone told him to stay. The cashier went through several poses, Moton said. “She was bending over, sitting in a chair and doing jumping jacks,” he said. When the woman finally was allowed to leave, she put her clothes on and rushed out the door. Moton mentioned to Pate that “if this ain’t what it’s supposed to be, then you are out of here.” A short time later, police tore into the parking lot and hauled off Pate in handcuffs. Police charged Pate with lewd and lascivious behavior and false imprisonment. The charges eventually were dropped, Miller said. Moton said he never saw the cashier again after that night. “I didn’t even want to look her in face,” he said. “It was so embarrassing.” Police track the caller: The caller contacted several Wendy’s restaurants on Feb. 20, 2004, in the West Bridgewater, Mass., area, said Detective Sgt. Victor Flaherty of the West Bridgewater Police Department. West Bridge water is a suburb of Boston. “We had four incidents in one night,” Flaherty said. “Some conversations lasted more than an hour and a half.” Like the others, calls involved strip-searches of female employees, Flaherty said. By this time, however, the trail was leading back to Stewart, authorities said. After a story appeared in a restaurant industry magazine about what happened in West Bridgewater, Flaherty was flooded with calls from police agencies across the country. Detective Buddy Stump of the Mount Washington Police Department called Flaherty. Stump was looking for help tracing the call to the McDonald’s where Ogborn was strip-searched. Flaherty traced the calls made to West Bridgewater back to the Panama City area. He called the Panama City Police Department and asked for help, Miller said. Andrea McKenzie, a former detective with the PCPD and now an investigator with the state attorney’s office, helped link Stewart to the calls. McKenzie said she fielded calls from police agencies all over the country. “It was kind of shocking,” she said. “People said the phone number was coming from the Panama City area.” When the investigation uncovered that some of the calls were made using a phone card, authorities got the break they needed. “Nothing in this world is untraceable, if you put the time into it,” Flaherty said. McKenzie tracked the date and time of when the phone cards were bought to the Wal-Mart on 23rd Street. She pulled security video. On the video was a man wearing a uniform from the local jail run by Corrections Corporation of America, McKenzie said. Stewart was identified as the jail guard shown on the video, authorities said, and police brought him to the PCPD to be interrogated by Flaherty, who flew in from Massachusetts. When police arrested Stewart, they found numerous police magazines and applications to police departments, Miller said. “This guy wanted to be a cop in the worst way,” Flaherty said. Stewart’s attorney, Steve Romines, said there is no way his client could have been the voice on the phone. “To talk someone into this — it is someone more eloquent than David (Stewart),” Romines said. “He’s not dumb, but this was very sophisticated.” Flaherty disagreed with Romines’ assessment. “I’ve been doing this for 20 years, and there is no doubt in my mind” that Stewart did it, Flaherty said. Authorities eventually extradited Stewart in the fall 2004 from Bay County to Mount Washington to stand trial. Panama City police didn’t go after Stewart because they couldn’t link him to the call to the Winn-Dixie, Miller said. Other states, meanwhile, are awaiting the outcome of the Kentucky trial before pursuing legal action against Stewart, Flaherty said. “Oregon is still interested in him,” Flaherty said. “In Massachusetts, I consider it a rape by him.”