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Corrections Corporation of America Message Board

  • MyOpinion_99 MyOpinion_99 Jan 26, 1999 11:27 AM Flag

    Dr. Charles W. Thomas

    Dec. 21, 1998

    Prison expert faces 2nd
    ethics complaint

    News-Journal Wire
    Services

    GAINESVILLE (AP) - An expert on prison privatization faces a
    second state ethics complaint for taking a $3 million
    consulting contract with a private prison company.


    The complaint filed on Dec. 10 comes from the Police
    Benevolent Association with the Florida Commission on Ethics
    against Charles Thomas, a criminology professor and
    director of the University of Florida Private Corrections
    Project.

    The PBA, a union representing state
    correctional officers, opposes privatization.

    It filed
    a similar conflict-of-interest complaint last year
    against Thomas with the Ethics Commission.

    In
    June, the Ethics Commission found probable cause that
    Thomas had violated state laws regulating the financial
    relationships state employees can have with private companies.


    The commission found conflicts between Thomas'
    private work and his position as university researcher
    and as a consultant to the Florida Correctional
    Privatization Commission.

    Helen Jones, spokeswoman for
    the Ethics Commission, said the ethics charges from
    the previous complaint are pending at the Florida
    Department of Administrative Hearings.

    Thomas
    acknowledged to The Gainesville Sun newspaper of having a
    relationship with Prison Real Estate Investment Trust.


    He said he had a $3 million contract consulting
    about the corporation's merger with Corrections
    Corporation of America, ownership of 30,000 shares worth
    $660,000 and a seat on the trust's board of directors.


    Thomas said those financial ties are not a conflict
    because the corporation is a real estate trust that
    builds and leases correctional facilities to public and
    private entities.

 
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