You are here

GEO Group abandons Maverick County Detention Center over rape allegation

Maverick County Detention Center
Maverick County Detention Center
In December, we reported that the Maverick County Detention Center was at the center of a lawsuit over rape allegations. A woman who was detained at the facility sued GEO Group, alleging that the company was negligent in operating the facility. She says this led to her rape by a 27-year-old guard named Luis Armando Valladarez.

The facility remains open but is no longer operated by the GEO Group, begging the question, “who operates it now?”.

First, some history. The GEO Group signed a contract to build the 654-bed facility in Maverick County and began operating it in 2007. But in 2013, Maverick County Judge David Saucedo called a press conference to announce that GEO was ending the contract. At the time, he suggested the facility would find a new purpose.

That new purpose appears to be coming under the control of the county’s public facility corporation, a legal entity that can finance public facilities and issue bonds on behalf of its sponsor. The legal details are laid out here.

As of November 1, 2013, Maverick County Detention Center has been owned by the Maverick County Public Facility Corporation. The Eagle Pass Business Journal explains:

The Maverick County Public Facility Corporation was incorporated by Maverick County Commissioners Court in 2007 as a separate non-profit corporation in order to create a legal entity to construct and operate the Maverick County Detention Center and to issue over $40 Million in Bonds for the construction of the over 625 bed prison facility.  Maverick County contracted with a private prison management company, The Geo Group, Inc., to operate the Maverick County Detention Center, since its opening but The Geo Group, Inc. withdrew from managing the prison facility on October 31, 2013 at 12 Midnight, forcing Maverick County to request the Maverick County Sheriff’s Department to take over management of the prison facility.  Maverick County Sheriff Tom Schmerber appointed Guillermo De Los Santos as the Warden of the Maverick County Detention Center.


This isn’t the first time that GEO Group has left a county with an expensive facility and no choice but to take it over. In 2009, we reported the Beaumont Correctional Center to be one of at least five GEO facilities that had been closed or put under new management in several years. Then there's a long saga of Littlefield, a small Texas town still paying dearly for partnering with GEO Group on the promise that a detention center would bring jobs.