Updated:FULTON COUNTY, Ga —
Channel 2 Action News has learned that a contract to provide pharmaceuticals for local jail inmates has skyrocketed to more than triple the planned cost.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Richard Belcher says one Fulton County commissioner believes this may warrant an investigation by state or federal prosecutors.
One subcontractor has been terminated, but the county doesn’t appear to know how the overspending went undetected for so long.
“I had questions about the award of that contract from the beginning,” Fulton County Commissioner Robb Pitts said.
Belcher spoke to Pitts about the two-page memo that all the county commissioners received from purchasing officials earlier this week.
The contract in question provides pharmaceuticals for the thousands of inmates who are in and out of the massive Fulton County Jail.
Pitts said the fundamental reason for the cost overrun is already known.
According to the memo, the primary contractor is a company called Corizon LLC. But the problems appear to focus on a subcontractor called Trans Alliance Group.
In late 2013 purchasing officials uncovered what the county calls a huge disparity between projected cost and the actual cost of that contract. The projected cost was $698,000.
The actual cost is just short of $2.4 million, which is 24 percent over budget.
“Didn’t somebody notice this thing was going over budget by hundred’s of thousands of dollars? That’s my point. I cannot believe that either, Corizon knew, the minority firm knew, or we should have known. Someone internal to Fulton County.,” Pitts said.
Pitts said the county needs to move quickly to get complete answers about the jail contract, and may still need to ask the Fulton County District Attorney or the U.S. attorney’s office to investigate.
“And it’s incumbent upon us to find out where that money is and to recoup that money, every penny of it,” Pitts said.
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