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Correctional Services (CSCQ) Message Board

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  • prisonet prisonet May 9, 1999 6:58 PM Flag

    Excuse me........

    Private Facility

    CSC, Shelly facing

    By S.J. Ludescher
    Staff Writer

    GALLUP _
    Despite the glowing reports to the contrary, there seems
    more than just a little discontent and trouble
    Correctional Services Corporation, the company in charge of
    McKinley County's Adult Detention Facility. And all of
    unhappiness isn't confined to the prisoners.

    Meanwhile, it's also been confirmed that an immediate family
    member of McKinley County Commissioner Ben Shelly is
    employee at the facility, which may be a violation of
    state law. It is also believed that that employment may
    be one of the
    reasons for calling a grand jury to
    probe the dentention facility.

    Also confirmed
    by Montana prison officials is the fact that Bob
    Bass, facility administrator for the county jail, is
    interviewing for a warden's position in that state. The
    official said that the opening will be filled within the
    next few weeks, and that if Bass is hired "it will be
    at Bass's discretion as to when he

    Rumors about discontent and possible "conflict of
    interest" began to circulate in the aftermath of last
    week's announcement by a
    group of concerned citizens
    regarding the passing of a petition for signatures to order
    a grand jury investigation into the
    of CSC's management of the county jail.

    grand jury petition also calls for investigation into
    certain public officers or employees violating New Mexico
    law by "using
    the powers and resources of their
    public office to obtain personal benefits incompatible
    with the public interest."

    The petition also
    states that "certain persons" may have violated the law
    by soliciting or giving anything of value with
    intent to
    influence public officials.

    the hiring of a family member constitutes an
    impropriety may be one of the items the grand jury will
    address. A CSC
    employee, who asked to remain anonymous
    for fear of retaliation, said that County
    Commissioner Shelly's high school age son,
    Michael, is
    employed at the facility.

    Later, in a telephone
    interview, Shelly confirmed to the Independent that his son
    works at the CSC facility.

    The question centers
    around the fact of whether a county official can vote on
    a contract awarded to a county vendor
    employs a member of the official's family.

    the New Mexico constitution, registered voters have
    the right to sign a petition calling for a grand jury
    investigation. The law requires 200 or 2 percent of the
    signatures of registered voters in the county, whichever is
    greater, for a grand jury to

    McKinley County, that means 586 voters' signatures.

    With the required signatures, a district court judge
    cannot deny a grand jury proceeding.

    questions the grand jury will be asked to consider are: the
    possible awarding of a contract to CSC for the management
    the juvenile detention facility; and, also the
    legality of Shelly's $2,500 in county mileage payments.