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Did corruption follow private prisons to Montgomery County?

Hat tip to Grits for Breakfast who reported on Monday that the Montogmery County Commission would be disccusing whether a former County Commiss

ioner improperly received a loan from a firm that the county had contracted with to develop two GEO Group operated facilities - the Joe Corley Detention Center and the Montgomery County Mental Health Treatment Facility.   

Catherine Dominguez at the Conroe Courier reported on Monday ("County demands repayment for construction of facilities" December 14):

"In three separate letters, Montgomery County Attorney J D Lambright has demanded the repayment of almost $13 million he says are the financial damages to the county due to a “breach of fiduciary duty” relating to the construction of two county facilities.

The letters, sent Dec. 6, allege former Precinct 3 Commissioner Ed Chance, former county employee/consultant Linda Breazeale and Jim Galloway, with Conroe-based developer Alliance Development LLC, all benefited from the overcharges related to the Joe Corley Detention Center and the Montgomery County Mental Health Facility. They further state that Chance and Breazeale, along with Alliance’s “schemes, fraud and misrepresentations” knowingly caused the financial damages.

The letters demand Chance pay the county $500,000, Breazeale pay $242,275 and Galloway pay $12.2 million. Each was given 30 days to pay the debt or risk a civil suit. As of Friday afternoon, Lambright said he had not heard from any of the parties regarding the letters."

On Monday, the court rejected an effort by Commissioner Mike Meador to rescind the letters, moving the county forward in its attempts to recoup its costs.  According the Courier's Dominguez,

"Silence fell across the room during Monday’s Commissioners Court meeting after Precinct 1 Commissioner Mike Meador made a motion to rescind demand letters to former Precinct 3 Commissioner Ed Chance and former county auditor/consultant Linda Breazeale because Meador believes there isn’t enough proof the two caused financial damages to the county.

The motion, which came after a lengthy executive session Monday during the commissioners’ regular meeting, died due to a lack of second by a fellow court member."

We'll keep you posted on the latest developments from Montgomery County.