The Corrections Corporation of America is suing Hernando County for a $1.8 million payment the county has withheld since July.
As The Florida Independent previously reported, CCA had run the county’s jail for 22 years. When the company opted out of the remainder of its $10.8 million contracts in April, the jail was transferred to the authority of the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office. The jail was in need of serious repairs, so the county hired an independent engineering firm to evaluate the damage and determine whether CCA or the county was at fault. The county also decided to withhold its final payment to CCA till the report was completed.
Hernando Today reports that the repairs will cost $14.9 million:
The estimate from HDR Engineering came back five times the $3 million county commissioners had set aside in reserves to pay for expected repairs at the 22-year-old facility.
“There’s no way we’re going to spend $14.9 million,” Commissioner Jim Adkins said. “We don’t have it and we’re not going to.”
Commissioner John Druzbick said $3 million to $4 million is the limit.
HDR’s preliminary report said that $973,626 is attributed to deferred maintenance and should be charged to CCA.
The largest portion of repairs, or $6.5 million, is needed for security systems at the jail, the report said.
County commissioners had postponed discussion of the $1.8 million it owes CCA till Oct. 12. But on Wednesday CCA filed suit in the U.S. District Court in Tampa, stating that “the county has no valid reason for holding back payment of its July and August invoices,” according to Hernando Today.