Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sorry, But It Is Called A "Kickback"

I notice over on Abdul's blog that he has accused me of claiming the Sheriff had committed a crime during a council committee meeting. Of course, I did no such thing. Rather I simply used a contractual term that certain people either mistakenly or intentionally chose to misconstrue. Let me explain.

When a contractor rewards government with a payment for contracting with the contractor, that's called kicking money back, i.e. a "kickback" provision in the contract. There is a kickback provision is in the inmate telephone contract. Per the contract, the money kicked back by Evercom/Securus gets channelled into the Sheriff's Commissary Fund. There are actually two kickbacks in the telephone contract. One is worth at least a $1 million a year. The other I'm not sure about because I didn't have the other document that provides the formula for that payment. There is no dispute that those provisions are in the contract or the money gets channelled in to the commissary fund.

When I mentioned the "kickback" contractual term during the meeting, Sheriff Anderson and others immediately and inaccurately suggested that I was accusing the Sheriff of a crime. My guess is they probably knew I wasn't but were trying to stir up the Democrats on the Council.

Not once did I say the kickback provision was criminal nor did I even say it was illegal. Rather what I was trying to ask was 1) how much money the telephone contract was raising; and 2) the legal basis by which that money goes into the commissary fund rather than the general fund. I'm sorry, but don't we have the right to know this information? Contrary to Attorney Kevin Murray's suggestion, I have no litigation pending whatsoever about this matter.

For the record, kickback provisions in privatization contracts are not at all illegal. Whether they are a good policy is a different story.


Jon said...

Their issue is primarily that they don't want to be questioned about any activities, especially if those issues may be construed as self serving.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Jon, you are absolutely correct.

Freedom Fighter said...

Paul; everybody else knew what you were saying! The bottom line is, Where is the money, Frank?

Paul K. Ogden said...

FF, and how much money is going into the commissary from the telephone contact? From just one of the forumulas used, were' talking in excess of one million dollars.

What never ceases to amaze me is that here you have people who are so poor they can't afford bail and have to sit in jail. If their families want to talk to them by phone they have to pay a exhoribant fee to a private company. We have a Sheriff that is putting millions into his commissary fund from these phone calls when the private company kicks back money to him.

These people are disproportionally African-American and as I said very poor. You would think DEMOCRATS, who claim to be for the poor and African-Americans would be offended by this. But, nope, not a one of them will even question the practice. And the Sheriff who entered into this telephone contract, which soaks the poor and minorities, is a Democrat. So much for standing up for their principles and the constituencies Democrats claim to represent.

Steve said...
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