Has Republican cronyism drawn Alabama into a contract with another company that has a checkered past?
Bob Lowry, of the Huntsville Times, reported on Sunday that the Alabama Department of Corrections will get a $233.73 million contract with a St. Louis company that bid $6 million more than the losing bidder for inmate health-care services. Correctional Medical Services (CMS) won the contract, the Times reported, with the assistance of former Republican Lt. Gov. Steve Windom, a lobbyist with close times to Alabama Governor Bob Riley.
The Web site for the Prison Policy Initiative lists five major exposes of CMS and the services it provides to prisoners. The investigative articles include reports on patient neglect and the use of physicians with histories of misconduct, including drug abuse.
The CMS contract comes on the heels of a $3.8 million contract the Alabama Medicaid Agency signed with ACS Heritage Inc., which presented a bid that was $500,000 higher than the next company. In that case, ACS Heritage hired Toby Roth, former Riley chief of staff, just before the bid was awarded.
ACS received the contract even though it has a history of administrative, financial, and service problems.