Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Local News

March 13, 2013

Confusion surrounds prisoner rate negotiations

March 18, 2013 — Carter Judge-Executive Charles Wallace disputes allegations that he has held up rate increase negotiations with the US Marshals Service.

In a letter addressed to USMS Assistant Director David Musel, dated Feb. 21, Wallace informed “pertinent individuals” that he had appointed magistrates Mary Ellen Greenhill and Clifford Roe “to work on the IGA agreement.”

Wallace said Tuesday that he asked Greenhill and Roe to bring facts to the Fiscal Court, not to actually negotiate a new daily rate for federal prisoners in the Carter County Detention Center (CCDC).

Although briefly discussed during the Feb. 19 Fiscal Court meeting that Wallace and Jailer R.W. Boggs would work together on the rate negotiation, no vote on the issue was taken, according to the official minutes recorded in the County Clerk's office.

Wallace claims that he and the magistrates are involved because Boggs has no legal authority to negotiate a contract for the county.

The judge-executive also disputed the claim that the Fiscal Court had voted to raise daily rates by $10 during a meeting in June 2011.

Yet, the official minutes of the Fiscal Court meeting of June 29, 2011, show that Roe offered such a motion and that it was seconded by Ronnie Greenhill and approved by unanimous vote.

During the 2011 meeting, Boggs said he would apply for a rate increase as soon as a freeze on those requests was lifted.  Wallace claimed he had been told there never was a freeze. 

Lynzey Donahue, a spokesperson with the U.S. Marshals’ Office of Public Affairs in Washington D.C. confirmed that no one was able to apply for rate increases at that time. 

“Rate increases were temporarily suspended in March 2011 for eight months,” Donahue said in an email.  “Since November 2011, rate increase requests have been reviewed and approved on a case by case basis, due to appropriation uncertainties.”  

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