Zoley, who persuaded Wackenhut Corp. to enter the prison business in 1984, has his own reasons for being dissatisfied with the company's recent performance.
As a result of the problems arising at half a dozen of its prisons -- Zoley calls them "under-performing facilities" -- Wackenhut said in a March 30 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that negative verdicts in its civil cases could have a "material adverse effect" on its financial condition, which in turn could impair its ability to raise money. At the very least, the company does not expect any increase in annual profits in 2000.
On Wall Street, that's usually enough to put a company's stock in a cryogenic state. Indeed, the shares of Wackenhut Corrections hit $7.50 at one point Friday, its lowest price since 1994 -- the year it went public. The stock closed at $7.75.
Zoley said the company has taken a number of steps to regain its footing in the corrections and financial markets. It has hired an ombudsman, reporting directly to company President Wayne Calabrese, to review all inmate grievances, read all serious incident reports and, if necessary, order prison-level changes. It has hired a former U.S. Bureau of Prisons agent to conduct internal investigations. It has replaced its senior vice president of operations.