ARAMARK
 RAP SHEET


If you find our website useful, please consider sending us a contribution!!!

PCWG, 1114 Brandt Drive, Tallahassee FL 32308


Adams County Jail, Adams County, Pennsylvania
March 26, 2009 The Evening Sun
Adams County will soon get into the culinary business - in jail. Starting in June, the county will be providing its own food service at Adams County Prison. The current contractor, Aramark Food Services, chose to cancel its contract with the county effective June 18. County Solicitor John Hartzell said the contract allowed for Aramark to choose not to renew with 90 days notice. The contractor planned on raising its rates by 25 cents per meal per prisoner, about a 5 percent increase. The county did not agree with the rate hike, believing they could do the job cheaper, or at least at the same cost as the contractor prior to the hike, Commissioner George Weikert said. Commissioners also said prison officials were not happy with the quality of the food served by Aramark. Weikert said several factors have been taken into account in starting a county service, including cost, food quality and nutritional value. Commissioner Glenn Snyder said some of the cost will be curtailed with the county in control because the county can use vegetables grown in the prison's new garden. Vegetables from the garden were used last year, but there was no reduction in the contractor's cost.

Aire Filter Products, Arizona
Federal agents arrested nine Mexican nationals Tuesday and accused them of working illegally at a Mesa plant that manufactures military helicopters.  The workers, whose names were not released, were contract employees of Aramark and Aire Filter Products, subcontractors at the Boeing plant.  (The Arizona Republic, September 1, 2004

Aramark, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Apr 30, 2016 heraldbulletin.com
PCF worker charged with trafficking
PENDLETON — An Aramark food service worker at the Pendleton Correctional Facility was arrested Friday for trafficking with an inmate. At approximately 12 a.m. Aramark employee Charles Gish entered the facility to work his scheduled shift in the facility’s Food Service Department, said PCF Assistant Superintendent Andrew Cole. During a routine search, Sgt. Blaine Hurt felt a large lump inside the waistband of Gish’s pants. Gish was directed by Capt. Michael Spurgin to remove the items. Gish then pulled out three packages containing unknown substances. The Indiana State Police were contacted and reported to the facility. Gish was taken by Detective Bob May to the Indiana State Police post, where he was interviewed by ISP and PCF Information and Intelligence Officer Hubert Dunca. Gish was then taken to the Madison County Jail, where he was booked on four counts of trafficking with an inmate involving a controlled substance, which is a Level 5 Felony, and one count of trafficking with an inmate involving tobacco, a Class A misdemeanor. Aramark contracts its food service to the facility. “The confiscation of illicit substances found on a contractual staff member is a constant reminder of the importance of vigilance and consistency by staff when searching other staff members," Cole said. "I am personally disappointed that a person employed at this facility would put our staff at risk by trafficking with an offender."

Mar 12, 2016 keysnet.com
Jail kitchen worker and an inmate find love behind bars, worker and a second inmate are arrested
A suspected burglar may have stolen the kitchen lady's heart. A 43-year-old woman who ran the food service department at the Stock Island jail sent sexually explicit letters to an inmate and at one point kissed him, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office said. Donna Launer, a contract worker for Aramark who lives in Key West, was arrested Wednesday on a felony charge of introduction of contraband to the jail for the love letters, said Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Becky Herrin. The inmate, Daniel Rodriguez, 34, of Key West met Launer while he was working in the kitchen as a trusty and, according to him, they "expressed feelings" for one another and "kissed and rubbed" at one point but did not have sex, Herrin said. After Rodriguez was taken off kitchen duty, Launer started sending him letters and photos that were delivered by another inmate, Kristofer Jovany Lluis, 20, Herrin said. Those letters constitute contraband, a third-degree felony, because they didn't arrive via the U.S. Postal Service, the Sheriff's Office said. While the letters were sexually explicit, the photos were not, Herrin said. A sergeant at the jail learned earlier this month of Rodriguez's in-house admirer's correspondence. Lluis, of Miami, was also booked Tuesday on the contraband charge. Lluis is doing time after being arrested in April 2014 on multiple counts of burglary, grand theft and criminal mischief, while Rodriguez was arrested last July on charges of burglary, grand theft and multiple fraud counts.

Feb 7, 2016 miningjournal.net
Former prison worker sentenced
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (AP) - A former food supervisor who worked at an Upper Peninsula prison will serve two years to five years for trying to have an inmate assaulted. The Michigan Attorney General's office said 27-year-old Michael Young of Kincheloe was sentenced Thursday in Sault Ste. Marie. He was convicted in December of solicitation to commit assault with intent to cause great bodily harm. Young was working for a private company, Aramark, at an the eastern U.P. prison in 2014 when he asked an inmate to find another inmate to commit an assault at a different prison. Investigators have said Young was targeting someone who was involved in the death of a family member. The attorney general's office said Young had offered tobacco products as payment for the assault.

Dec 6, 2015 9and10news.com
Aramark Accused of Overcharging State for Prison Food
Auditors say the state is footing a bill for prison food that was never served. The Michigan Corrections Department paid $3.4 million to Aramark for that food. Auditors say some meal counts, kept by Aramark, were higher than the prison's actual population. A company spokesperson says any suggestions of overcharging is completely false. Aramark was replaced in September after a billing dispute and a series of incidents involving prisoners and their employees.

Oct 17, 2015 lowellsun.com
Another janitor arrested in theft at a Chelmsford school
CHELMSFORD -- Another Aramark custodian at Chelmsford High School has been charged with theft after a month-long investigation into missing cafeteria funds, police said. Jowell Ramos, 19, of Lawrence, is charged with larceny from a building in connection with a series of thefts from a cafeteria register. Police said Ramos will no longer be allowed on any Chelmsford school property. According to School Committee Chairman Al Thomas, another Aramark employee who allegedly acted as a lookout for Ramos was not charged but was also removed from the school. On Sept. 29, a school administrator reported to police that someone had been stealing money from the cafeteria cash drawer for several weeks, police said. Cafeteria staff place the cash drawer in a locked closet after every shift. There were several occasions where employees noticed the drawer was not balanced at the start of the morning shift. Staff reported there were no signs of forced entry into the closet. In addition to cafeteria workers, janitors have keys to the closet. Two police detectives investigated and found evidence allegedly linking Ramos to the missing cash. "This is an unfortunate situation where a man allegedly stole from his place of employment on several instances," Police Chief Jim Spinney said in a statement. "I applaud the work of the detectives who were able to successfully identify the suspect in this case." Since the School Department outsourced custodians to Aramark in 2011, three employees of the company have been charged with stealing items belonging to the schools, students and staff. A subcontractor with the company was also arrested on a warrant for failure to appear in court for a drug charge after a Chelmsford traffic stop. The most recent alleged theft involving an Aramark employee was in June, when Ayer resident Donald Beardsley was accused of stealing several computers and other items from the schools. In May, Lamar Wright, of Mattapan, was accused of breaking into CHS lockers and stealing equipment, cash and student property, including a credit card that was later used at a local convenience store. In 2013, Corey Ralls, of Lowell, was accused of breaking into a locked McCarthy Middle School nurse's office cabinet and stealing dozens of pills belonging to students for treatment of attention deficit disorder. "Obviously, I'm not pleased," Thomas said of the thefts. "We're looking at options in terms of whether Aramark will be able to stay with us or not. This has just become more than we're able to deal with. It has not been what we expected." He said the Aramark contract is up on June 30, the end of the fiscal year. A group comprised of School Committee members and school and town staff have been assessing janitorial needs for the facilities, Thomas said. "We're moving as quickly as we can to consider options so that we can take action in a timely fashion," he said. Superintendent Jay Lang called the incident "disappointing" and the behavior "unacceptable." He said police worked closely with school staff to investigate the matter and actions were taken as soon as the employee was identified. "It was a relatively small amount of money, but it's more the principle of someone who you would trust stealing from you, that's the issue here," Lang said. Jim Durkin, director of legislation, political action and communications for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 93, a union representing public custodial workers in New England, said he hopes this incident will be the tipping point for Chelmsford to bring union custodians back into the schools. He said the previous school administration had called the first arrest in 2011 "an isolated incident," but that clearly has not been the case. "When is the School Committee going to wake up and realize they made a critical mistake?" Durkin said. "They need to do whatever it takes to bring these custodian services back in-house." An Aramark spokesperson did not return a request for comment Fri

Aug 18, 2015 freep.com

Report: Michigan failed to hold Aramark accountable

LANSING — The administration of Gov. Rick Snyder repeatedly failed to hold prison food contractor Aramark Correctional Services accountable for problems, and it’s questionable whether oversight will be any better under the new prison food vendor, the group Progress Michigan said in a report released today. “Simply changing the vendor without changing the culture that allowed such egregious actions will do nothing but cost taxpayers more money,” said Lonnie Scott, the liberal nonprofit group’s executive director. The state is replacing Aramark midway through its three-year, $145-million contract after a series of reports in the Free Press detailed problems with food shortages, maggots and Aramark workers smuggling drugs and other contraband and engaging in sex acts with inmates. The state cited billing concerns in July when it opted to replace Aramark with Trinity Services Group of Florida, which is now in a transition phase and is to take over the prison kitchens completely on Sept. 9. As reported by the Free Press, the Trinity contract contains terms more favorable to the company than the Aramark contract did and is estimated to be worth $158.8 million over three years. The report released Tuesday by Progress Michigan is based on more than 25,000 pages of e-mails related to the Aramark contract that the group received from the state through Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act at a cost of more than $10,000, Scott said. He said the records show that of 3,707 issues with the contract identified by the state, 1,791 were persistent or recurring and not resolved. “This experiment of privatization is certainly a glaring example of failure to hold them accountable,” he said. Aramark spokeswoman Karen Cutler said in response to the report: "We know that public/private partnerships work and are proud to have served the state during a major groundbreaking shift to privatization that saved Michigan taxpayers over $20 million." Chris Gautz, a spokesman for the Corrections Department, said the report is based on old stories about a company that is on its way out of Michigan prisons. Clearly the department was doing a good job of overseeing the contract, because problems identified by the contract monitors form the basis of the Progress Michigan report, Gautz said. A spokesman for the Department of Technology, Management and Budget, which now oversees the contract, did not immediately respond to e-mails seeking comment. In August of 2014, Snyder acknowledged problems with oversight of the contract, announced a $200,000 fine against Aramark for contract violations and said oversight would be moved away from the Michigan Department of Corrections. In September, the state hired Ed Buss, a former corrections department director in Florida, to oversee the contract for $160,000 a year, reporting to the director of the Department of Technology, Management and Budget. Buss left in January under circumstances the state has declined to fully explain. Though the report does not separate the incidents before and after Snyder acknowledged a problem with contract oversight, Progress Michigan communications director Hugh Madden said there was no noticeable change after August and September. The report's recommendations include an investigation into the Aramark contract and its monitoring by Attorney General Bill Schuette, as well as a requirement that the state make all contract monitor reports available on the Internet within 30 days of issuance.


Jul 14, 2015 azdailysun.com
Michigan ends prison food contract year after company fined

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan has terminated a three-year, $145 million contract with Aramark Correctional Services a year after the company hired to feed state prisoners came under scrutiny for unapproved menu substitutions, worker misconduct and other issues, state officials announced Monday. Gov. Rick Snyder's administration said the state and company mutually agreed to end their relationship 14 ½ months early after being unable to resolve Aramark-initiated talks about contract revisions related to billing and menus. Michigan fined Aramark $200,000 last year for unauthorized food changes, inadequate staffing and employee misconduct such as fraternizing with inmates and drug smuggling. There also have been maggot problems, though Aramark was cleared of responsibility for incidents in 2014. An Aramark kitchen worker was fired for ordering cake that appeared to have been nibbled by rodents to be served to prisoners. Snyder previously defended sticking with Philadelphia-based Aramark, saying Michigan was on pace to save $14 million a year through privatization. Trinity Services Group, based in Oldsmar, Florida, will transition to becoming Michigan's new vendor in the next two months under a three-year, $158 million contract up for approval by a state board Tuesday. The company was the only other qualified bidder when Michigan first privatized prison food services. "Their business is correctional food service, and they have a proven track record across the country working in other facilities — some 44 states," state Corrections Department Director Heidi Washington said. Aramark has food contracts with schools, colleges, hospitals and stadiums in addition to janitorial and uniform businesses. Michigan's contract with Aramark was supposed to run through September 2016. Democrats and a liberal advocacy group, while pleased with the contract's cancellation, said the state should no longer bid out prison food services. The 2013 outsourcing led to the loss of 370 unionized state jobs replaced by lower-paid private workers. "It's plainly obvious now that cutting corners to save money on prison services not only doesn't work, but puts prison guards and families living near prisons at risk," House Minority Leader Tim Greimel said. Snyder, however, said Michigan will see "significant" savings — at least $11.5 million a year — by still having a private firm prepare food in its 33 prisons. In a statement, Aramark said it was disappointed the deal didn't work out, but was proud to serve Michigan "during a major groundbreaking shift to privatization and delivering on our commitments to serve 65 million meals in MDOC facilities and save Michigan taxpayers more than $25 million." Aramark, which on its website says it has retained 97 percent of its correctional facility business in more than 35 years, said it takes "full responsibility" for its performance in Michigan prisons "while operating in a highly charged political environment that included repeated false claims." The Snyder administration hired Aramark to prepare food for the Michigan's 43,000 prisoners after initially saying the move would not save enough money. Once Republican lawmakers objected, the administration reversed course, saying mistakes were made in evaluating bidders' proposals. Ohio recently renewed a contract with Aramark to feed 50,000 prison inmates. The company had faced criticism in that state last year over understaffing, running out of food and a few cases of maggots near food prep areas.

Jun 26, 2015 freep.com
Maggots prompt call for prison kitchen inspections

LANSING — Michigan's prison food contractor, Aramark Correctional Services, is targeted in a bipartisan bill to require food safety inspections of prison kitchens, following the most recent incident involving maggots in or around food. Reps. John Kivela, D-Marquette and Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, want Aramark to pick up the cost of the inspections by local health departments. Currently, prison kitchens are exempt from the food safety inspections that restaurants receive because they are not considered "food establishments" under the Michigan Food Law. House Bills 4748 and 4749 would change that. "Just in the past few weeks there was yet another allegation of maggots in food served by Aramark in one of our prisons, so clearly fining the company and the bad press they've received over previous incidents hasn't helped get them to run a good food service operation or clean kitchens," Kivela said in a news release. Related: Did inmates eat potatoes with maggots in them? McBroom said, "Our prisons should face the same scrutiny as our schools, universities and senior centers," and "it seems only reasonable that those kitchens face the same strict inspections as required by any kitchen serving the public." Aramark spokeswoman Karen Cutler said "food safety is our highest priority and we welcome the public discussion regarding the appropriate roles and responsibilities in the MDOC (Michigan Department of Corrections) kitchen facilities as it relates to overall food safety." MDOC spokesman Chris Gautz said the department has no position on the bill, but is open to discussing it. He said the kitchens are inspected more frequently now than when they were staffed by state workers, because state contract monitors do monthly inspections, a registered sanitarian does an unannounced annual inspection, and Aramark also employs a company that conducts inspections. The Free Press reported June 2 that maggots were found that day in potatoes being prepared for serving at the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility near Jackson. Gautz said though it was possible some contaminated food was served to prisoners before the meal was stopped, there were no such reports. On June 11, after obtaining records under Michigan's Freedom of Information Act, the Free Press reported that the prisoner who discovered the maggots said an Aramark supervisor told him to keep quiet about the incident. Cutler said the prisoner's account is hearsay. "We have passed our recent sanitation audits, while MDOC continues to work with its pest control provider to manage a persistent pest problem in the kitchen," she said. Gautz said there have been "isolated incidents" of pests at Cotton, which the department has addressed, but "we don't have persistent pest problems at the Cotton facility." He agreed the department is responsible for pest control, while Aramark is responsible for kitchen sanitation. The discovery of maggots was the latest in a series of incidents since Philadelphia-based Aramark replaced about 370 state workers and began a three-year, $145-million contract to serve meals to Michigan's 43,000 prisoners in December 2013. The state fined Aramark $98,000 in March 2014 for food shortages, unauthorized menu substitutions and over-familiarity between kitchen workers and inmates and $200,000 in August 2014 after problems persisted. The state later confirmed it quietly waived the March fine soon after it was imposed, and Aramark never paid it. There were earlier incidents of maggots found in or around food, though state officials later said the maggots couldn't be blamed on Aramark so much as issues with how food was stored. There also have been incidents of Aramark employees arrested for trying to smuggle drugs into state prisons for inmates and several instances in which Aramark workers and inmates have been caught engaging in sex acts. Earlier this month, a former Aramark worker at Kinross Correctional Facility in the Upper Peninsula was arraigned on criminal charges of trying to hire an inmate to assault another inmate. On Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that Ohio renewed a contract with Aramark to feed that state's 50,000 prison inmates, despite similar early problems with that contract involving understaffing, running out of food and a few cases of maggots near food preparation areas.

May 25, 2015 post-gazette.com
New Mexico: Aramark employee smuggling drugs

After a lengthy investigation, detectives say they now know who has been smuggling drugs into the Metropolitan Detention Center. According to investigators, 23-year-old Nick Perea admitted to bringing in dozens of Suboxone strips to inmates at the jail. At that time, Perea was working for Aramark services in the laundry department. Police say most of those strips were delivered to an inmate named Steven Mertz. Investigators say they strip searched Mertz and found a total of 15 Suboxone strips. Both men are now facing charges in connection to this case.


May 17, 2015 lansingstatejournal.com

Snyder appoints Heidi Washington to run corrections department  Gov. Rick Snyder announced a cabinet change Friday, with Warden Heidi Washington replacing Dan Heyns as head of the Michigan Department of Corrections. LANSING Gov. Rick Snyder announced today that Warden Heidi Washington – a Michigan Department of Corrections veteran who has been an outspoken critic of the service provided by prison food contractor Aramark – will replace Dan Heyns as department director on July 1. Snyder officials said Heyns is stepping aside by mutual agreement but will continue to work with the Council on Law Enforcement and Reinvention and help to coordinate criminal justice strategy. Snyder is to deliver a special message on criminal justice Monday, laying out new proposals for reform. Washington of East Lansing has been with the Corrections Department for 17 years, most recently as the head of the Charles Egeler Reception and Guidance Center in Jackson, where new inmates get sent. She earlier served as warden at the Robert Scott Correctional Facility and as legislative liaison for MDOC, as well as working as a staffer in both the state House and Senate. She told the Free Press today that when her time as warden is completed, she wants people to say that "I helped make a difference in people's lives." Washington, who holds a law degree from Cooley Law School, a bachelor's degree from Michigan State University and an associate's degree from Lansing Community College, will continue to serve as the corrections liaison to the Michigan Women's Commission. "As the warden at Egeler, Heidi has demonstrated firm management and a commitment to understanding why offenders are there, and where they are headed in the future," Snyder said in a news release. Washington has been an outspoken critic of food service provided at the Egeler facility by Aramark Correctional Services, the food vendor that replaced state workers when it began a three-year, $145-million contract in December of 2013. Many of the e-mails the Free Press obtained through the Michigan Freedom of Information Act for a July 2014 special report on the prison food contract featured Washington expressing disgust at the level of service. "At times I felt like Lansing thought I was just being too difficult and too demanding because I was always complaining," Washington told a contract manager in one of the e-mails, in March of 2014. "However, I think everyone knows that's not the case. "Bottom line is lay down with dogs, get up with fleas." Though complaints have died down, the contract early on was marred by complaints of food shortages, sanitation problems, prisoner unrest, and instances of Aramark workers smuggling in drugs or other contraband and engaging in sex acts with prisoners. Washington said Friday "it's no secret" there's been challenges having Aramark provide the level of service that is needed. "Every day is a new day," and she intends to look at how all services are being provided across all prisons in the system, she said. Snyder said Washington's time "spent within the prison administration and working directly with corrections officers, as well as on the public policy of criminal justice issues, will bring great value to this time of transformation in identifying the policies to be changed and how those reforms will improve public safety." Heyns, a former Jackson County sheriff, has served four years as director. Washington will be paid $155,000 a year, the same amount Heyns received, officials said. "Dan took on an incredible burden and really began the overall transformation of our corrections system," Snyder said. "Because of his leadership, our recidivism rate is lower and we have identified the factors we need to address to ensure parolees have the tools they need to reintegrate into society outside the prison walls." Heyns will remain as director until June 30 and will work with Washington on the transition, the release said. The appointment is subject to Senate consent. The department faces constant pressure from lawmakers to reduce its $2 billion budget, which almost all comes from the state's general fund. "As you know, the budget, what we spend, is a function of how many people we have to take care of," Washington said. She said will work with other stakeholders in the justice system to see if those numbers can be reduced.


Mar 18, 2015 Detroit Free Press

LANSING—An Aramark Correctional Services worker was disciplined last year after inmates were fed cake that rodents had been chewing on, according to e-mails released today by the liberal group Progress Michigan. The July 2014 incident took place while Aramark, a Philadelphia-based prison food contractor serving the Michigan Department of Corrections, was under intense scrutiny as a result of a series of articles in the Free Press documenting sanitation issues, smuggling of drugs and other contraband by Aramark workers, and incidents of sex acts between Ara-mark workers and inmates. The e-mails, which Progress Michigan obtained under Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act, show an exchange between prison officials about an incident at Central Michigan Correctional Facility in St. Louis in which an inmate kitchen worker “reported to custody staff that he was ordered to serve cake that had evidence of rodents eaten from it.” “The Aramark employee allegedly ordered him to cut the sides off the cake ... and serve it to the population,” Corrections Department official Dawn Livermore said in one of the e-mails. “I’m heading into work now to assess the mood of the population and address any situation concerns.” “Unbelievable!” Warden Jeffrey Larson replied when told of the incident. “Thanks for handling the situation.” According to the e-mails and to Corrections Department spokesman Chris Gautz, an Aramark employee who told the inmate to serve the cake but “put frosting on it,” was sent home and fired over the incident, and a pest control firm was sent to the kitchen. Gautz said the cake was served, but he’s not aware of any illnesses that resulted. Karen Cutler, an Aramark spokeswoman, said she was “not going to comment on an allegation from eight months ago that is one of hundreds of allegations made by special-interest groups against our company and our hardworking employees in Michigan.” Cutler said “food safety is a top priority that we take very seriously,” and “our processes and procedures are industry leading, and if issues are raised, we fix them quickly.” Lonnie Scott, director of Progress Michigan, said the administration of Gov. Rick Snyder should “use this opportunity to come clean about all the problems that they know of related to Ara-mark because the public has a right to know.” Aramark began its three-year, $145-million contract in December 2013, eliminating about 370 state jobs. The state has fined the company $200,000 for contract violations and more than 100 workers have been fired for various infractions and banned from prison property amid concerns about prison security. But complaints about the contractor have eased in recent months. “We took this very seriously,” Gautz said. “We wanted to make sure nothing like this will ever happen again.”


Jul 31, 2014 seattlepi.com

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state on Wednesday announced a second fine against the private vendor that took over the job of feeding inmates last year as the company defended its operations before a prisons oversight committee. The $130,200 fine against Philadelphia-based Aramark Correctional Services covered continued staffing shortages, unacceptable food substitutions and shortages and sanitation issues, including maggots observed in food service operations at five prisons this month and last, according to Ohio's July 23 letter to the company. "There were and there are remaining concerns," Gary Mohr, director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, told members of the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee. Mohr emphasized that problems are largely limited to seven prisons. He said some of the fine will be used to increase the training Aramark employees receive. "What was going on was just not adequate," he said. Mohr said Aramark has saved Ohio $13 million since September and likely prevented the state from having to close Hocking Correctional Facility in southeastern Ohio. The Aramark contract is on track to save Ohio more than $16 million next year, Mohr said. The state levied a $142,000 fine against Aramark in April. John Hanner, president of Aramark Correctional Services, defended his company's record in Ohio to the committee, saying food delays and substitutions have happened less than 1 percent of the time. Afterward, he said the company is committed to improving its Ohio operations. "Ninety-nine percent of the time our people are doing a great job," Hanner said. "These are Ohio citizens that we've hired. These people come to work every day and do a great job under trying circumstances." The quality of food has gone down since Aramark began work last September and food service concerns are more significant than in the past ten years, Joanna Saul, chief of the oversight committee, said in earlier testimony Wednesday. Aramark's low wages lead to high turnover and a temptation to smuggle in contraband, Saul said. "You're making $10 to $11, you can bring in a pack of cigarettes and sell it for $300 — what are you going to choose?" Saul said. Numerous reports have documented cases of Aramark running out of main and side dishes over the past several months. Reports also indicate several days when Aramark employees simply failed to show up, cases of unauthorized relationships between inmates and Aramark workers, and the reports of maggots. Ninety-six Aramark employees are banned from working in Ohio prisons, according to the state. Aramark's $110 million deal to feed some 50,000 Ohio prisoners began in September and runs through June 30, 2015. The prison employees union has filed a formal grievance over the Aramark contract. It said it offered a competitive proposal to keep food service in-house. In Michigan, Gov. Rick Snyder's administration is approaching a decision on possibly reconsidering Aramark's 3-year, $145 million contract. Earlier this year, Michigan officials reported two incidents of maggots found in a prison's food service area in Jackson. At issue is a bigger national debate over privatizing prison services — from food preparation to the running of entire facilities — to save money at a time of squeezed state budgets. The seven prisons with the most problems, according to the state: Warren, Belmont, Noble, Mansfield, Pickaway, Lebanon and the Ohio Reformatory for Women.


Jul 16, 2014 Detroit Free Press

LANSING — In a development a state government spokesman described as “unprecedented,” four Aramark prison workers at Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility in Ionia were fired Wednesday for having inappropriate sexual contact with inmates inside a walk-in cooler, a Corrections Department official confirmed. Critics said the latest development in the 7-month-old Aramark saga should be the last straw for the Philadelphia-based company, whose performance has been plagued with hundreds of problems — including food shortages and kitchen maggots — since it displaced 370 state workers and took over the job of providing three meals a day to about 43,000 state prisoners. The latest firings also mean more than 80 Aramark workers have now been banned from prison property for various infractions — through a mechanism the Corrections Department calls stop orders — since the company took over. State Rep. Sam Singh, D-East Lansing, joined the chorus Wednesday of those calling for an end to the contract. “Once again, misconduct by Aramark employees have caused disruption in our prison system,” Singh said in a news release. “What started out as a few concerning incidents has grown into to a pattern of continued poor performance. The result of this failed privatization policy is more than 80 Aramark employees have been banned from correction facilities for their transgressions,” and “all of this leads to dangerous conditions for our corrections officers and ultimately the general public.” Aramark spokeswoman Karen Cutler, who has said the company is working with the state to improve operations — but also has blamed interest groups who opposed privatization for what she has described as a “media circus” surrounding the contract — had no immediate comment. Of the latest incident, Aramark has “zero tolerance for improper conduct and thank the department for working with us to promptly handle this situation,” Cutler said. Sara Wurfel, spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Snyder, said on Wednesday that the governor “has strong and serious concerns,” and “these things must get addressed and resolved. “Quality, safety and security are simply imperative,” Wurfel said. Spokesman Russ Marlan said the corrections department plans to review the status of the Aramark contract at the end of July, though he wouldn’t rule out the state taking further action against the contractor sooner than that. “It’s long past time for the governor to take action,” Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer said in a news release calling on Snyder to terminate the three-year, $145-million deal with Aramark Correctional Services. “Taxpayer dollars shouldn’t be used to pay for the kind of gross incompetence and dangerous behavior that Aramark is peddling.” Wednesday’s firings came after prison officials reviewed recent surveillance video from inside a kitchen cooler showing female Aramark workers cavorting with male inmates, Marlan said. Two of the kitchen workers were at work Wednesday and were escorted out. Two others were fired and not allowed into the prison when they showed up for work, he said. “It’s unprecedented that four workers at the same facility, in the same day, are placed on stop order,” Marlan said. “It’s concerning on a number of levels.” The conduct involved kissing and sexual touching with several inmates, but no intercourse, Marlan said. “I don’t believe all four of them were in the cooler at the same time,” he said. The firings reduce Aramark staff at Bellamy from 14 to 10, meaning help will need to be brought in from elsewhere, Marlan said. It’s the latest in a litany of problems since Aramark took over food services from state workers Dec. 8. Officials have fined Aramark $98,000 over meal shortages and improper menu substitutions and began strict enforcement of those portions of the contract on July 1. There have also been problems with security issues, Aramark workers smuggling in contraband and getting too friendly with inmates, and with food quality that has led to growing prisoner unrest. The Free Press detailed such problems on Sunday after receiving thousands of pages of records related to Aramark’s contract under Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act. Those records disclosed a range of problems, including complaints of rotten meat, threats of violence by Aramark workers, frequent food shortages and an earlier incident in which an Aramark worker and an inmate were discovered engaged in a sex act in a walk-in cooler at Carson City Correctional Facility. The state hasn’t yet put Aramark on formal notice on the fraternization/stop order issue and Mel Grieshaber, executive director of the Michigan Corrections Organization union representing corrections officers, said Wednesday he doesn’t understand why. The high turnover and untrained Aramark workers pose the greatest threat to prison security and “a potentially volatile situation,” said Grieshaber, who has called on the state to end the contract. The Aramark workers typically are paid about $11 an hour — roughly half what the state workers were paid. Officials estimated the contract would trim $12 million to $16 million from the $2 billion Corrections Department annual budget. Last week, Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, said the state should rebid the contract after the Free Press reported on maggots being discovered in or near food at two Michigan prisons. “It doesn’t matter if they’re prisoners or who they are, people don’t deserve that type of treatment,” Richardville said. Marlan said criminal charges are possible against the Aramark workers in the latest incident. Federal law treats any sexual contact between prison staff and inmates as abuse, and officials are investigating, Marlan said.


Jul 13, 2014 Detroit Free Press

LANSING — At Carson City Correctional Facility in February, prison officials entered a walk-in freezer to find the cooling unit shut off and an Aramark kitchen worker on her knees in front of a male inmate, engaged in a sex act. The worker didn’t tell prison officials she was coerced. She was wearing a personal alarm, which wasn’t activated. Officials fired her and banned her from prison properties. It’s one of dozens of examples of Aramark workers losing their jobs after getting too friendly with inmates, by exchanging love letters, kissing them, trying to smuggle them contraband, and even baking one a special farewell cake to celebrate his release, according to records obtained by the Free Press under the Michigan Freedom of Information Act. Corrections officers say the conduct of some Aramark workers — who typically make about $11 an hour and have high turnover — puts them and the safety of the entire prison system at risk.

■ They say it’s a short and slippery slope from getting friendly or intimate with inmates to helping them obtain weapons or escape. Aramark officials stress that keeping a professional distance from inmates is part of employee training. But records show that training has often been ineffective. “We’re so fed up,” said Mel Grieshaber, executive director of the Michigan Corrections Organization union representing correction officers.

■“They’re around prisoners who are manipulative,” he said of the Aramark employees. “If you’re not determined, you end up allowing things to happen.” Former Aramark employee Christopher Amando Mitchell is a case in point. Prison reports show the 19-year-old worker at G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility in Jackson was already “suspected of over-familiarity/fraternization with inmates” when a March 19 search as he entered the prison turned up two bags of marijuana wrapped in duct tape. Mitchell awaits sentencing after he pleaded guilty June 13 to smuggling contraband into a prison, a five-year felony. It’s not that over-familiarity never happened with kitchen workers employed by the state, who were paid about twice as much and had additional training that allowed them to pat down prisoners without corrections officers present. But the rate of incidents was not nearly as high, state and union officials agree.

■ In other instances of over-familiarity involving Aramark workers:

■ At the Charles E. Egeler Reception & Guidance Center in Jackson, “I was making a round through the kitchen and saw approximately 15 inmates back in the commissary area eating cake,” Corrections Officer Jason Duncan reported March 16. He found out an Aramark employee “baked the cake for inmate Harris 196839 and was permitting a group of inmates to eat it because Prisoner (Paul Dione) Harris was leaving the next day.”

■ At Newberry Correctional Facility, a Feb. 16 search of an Aramark worker found two love notes in the bill of her cap, which she later admitted were from an inmate.

■ At Michigan Reformatory, two Aramark workers were fired Jan. 28 after officials discovered they were receiving phone calls from prisoners and putting money into the inmates’ accounts.

■ At Lakeland Correctional Facility, a March 20 search of an Aramark worker turned up a love note to a prisoner hidden in her shoe.

■ On March 18 at Egeler, corrections officers overheard prisoners applauding an Aramark worker who was telling them the “corrupt” prison officials had “tried to get me” removed, but failed. The worker, who was later fired, “has decided to side with the prisoners as friends or co-workers,” prison Sgt. Robert Grace said in an e-mail.


Jul 10, 2014 wlns.com

LANSING, MI (WLNS) - The Snyder administration has not made a final decision, but there are indications that the governor is considering terminating a food service contract in the state prison system. 6 News Capitol Correspondent Tim Skubick has an update on this continuing story. The governor is not happy with the Aramark Company and its handling of food services behind prison walls. Insects were found on the chow line, 80 employees have been fired, the company has been fined $98,000 and 150 inmates got sick. Although no one has linked that to maggots and fly larvae in the kitchen. So is the governor thinking about terminating the contract? He did not say yes, but he clearly did not say no. “Well there’s been a number of issues. So I would say we’re approaching those kind of points, in terms of what needs to be done.” Reporter: “You would consider canceling the contract?” Governor Snyder: “Well again, I don’t want to start all kinds of speculation, but the performance hasn’t been acceptable and so we need to get these things resolved.” The legislature, not the governor decided to fire 370 state employees who did the food services prior to the private company coming in. The state prison director even told lawmakers not to do it. Representative Greg MacMaster chairs the prison budget and he is warning against moving too quickly to end the contract. He thinks that organized labor, which lost those jobs, may be trying to exploit this story. Meanwhile it has been learned that while no final decision has been made, the governor is considering all options and termination of the contract has not been ruled out. “They need to fire the company. They need to get rid of them. We’re having big problems in the institutions out there. Aramark should be let go,” said Mel Greishaber, union president. Even though this union leader does not represent the food service workers, he says his members are worried. “Corrections officers are worried about the safety and security of the intuitions,” said Greishaber. For now all eyes are on the governor as he considers his next move.

 

  Jul 2, 2014 detroitnews.com

Lansing— Michigan Department of Corrections officials have put their private prison food service provider on notice about a second corrections facility maggot infestation, department spokesman Russ Marlan confirmed Wednesday. Maggots — reportedly in one or more potatoes — were discovered by food workers peeling potatoes for a meal to be served later in the day at Egeler Reception and Guidance Center in Jackson, Marlan said. Egeler is the intake center where 1,103 new inmates are held for up to two weeks awaiting placement in the corrections system. The infestation was the second in less than a week at a Jackson prison facility and adds to Corrections Department officials’ worries regarding their $145-million, three-year contract with service giant Aramark to run the prison system food service. “It’s another serious issue as pertains to sanitary conditions of our Corrections system kitchens,” Marlan said. He said Egeler Warden Heidi Washington ordered Aramark workers to throw out a pallet of raw potatoes that had been stored in the prison kitchen. He said the kitchen was scrubbed with bleach and the Corrections Department then ordered an early garbage collection to get the spoiled potatoes off the prison grounds. An estimated 30 inmates developed food poisoning symptoms last weekend and Monday, following an incident last Friday in which maggots were discovered in a crack between components of a food service apparatus at Parnall Correctional Facility, also in Jackson. In that case, workers also scrubbed down a cafeteria with bleach. Aramark signed with the state in December to run the prison food services at an estimated annual savings of at least $12 million. The arrangement displaced 370 state workers and drew criticism from the prison officers union, which speculated the private provider would make mistakes that compromise safety. Corrections officials penalized Aramark $98,000 in March for problems such as over-familiarity by its workers with inmates. The department has warned the company it will strictly enforce contract terms, effective at the start of this month. Gov. Rick Snyder expressed concerns about the maggot problem during a public appearance Tuesday.


Mar 22, 2014 mlive.com

JACKSON, MI – A judge arraigned a food service worker Friday, March 21, on a charge of bringing contraband into prison for allegedly trying to smuggle two packages of marijuana into the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility. Christopher Amando Mitchell, 19, appeared late Friday afternoon before Jackson County District Judge Michael Klaeren. His alleged crime is punishable by a maximum prison sentence of five years. Klaeren gave him a personal recognizance bond, meaning he pays nothing to leave the jail as long as he does as ordered by the court. As a condition of his release, he cannot have any physical contact with any correctional facility, court records show. Police arrested Mitchell on Wednesday after a Michigan Department of Corrections officer doing a pat-down found two packages of marijuana on his body. The packages were wrapped in duct tape. They were about the size of two baked potatoes and weighed a total of a little more than 5 ounces, Michigan State Police Detective Sgt. Michael Church said. Mitchell was working as an employee of Aramark Correctional Services. The arrest is the latest in a series of problems since Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration opted to eliminate 370 state jobs and pay a contractor provide prison meals, according to the Detroit Free Press. An Aramark spokeswoman told the newspaper the company shares the corrections department’s zero tolerance for inappropriate conduct. “Assuming the facts are as reported, this incident would violate everything Aramark stands for and is contrary to our procedures, operations and values.”


Mar 11, 2014 michiganradio.org

The Michigan Department of Corrections has fined Aramark, the company that handles food operations in state prisons. The MDOC notified Aramark of the fines, totaling almost $100,000, by two letters sent in the last two weeks. The MDOC said Aramark violated its contract by substituting meals, and by failing to prepare the right number of meals. The fines have been assessed for 52 unauthorized meal substitutions and 240 instances of improper meal counts. Russ Marlan is a spokesperson for the MDOC. He said food service is important to stability in prisons, and it matters that prisoners receive the meals they've been told they'll get and that there is consistency among housing units. "They're (Aramark) required to follow our menu and they're required to serve the same food and the same portions to the entire prison population," Marlan said. "And we found some examples after working through that transition period where that just wasn't occurring." Last month, 200 prisoners at Kinross Correctional Facility staged a peaceful demonstration over shortages in scheduled meal items. The demonstration took place two months after Aramark started handling prison food services. The MDOC also fined Aramark for  a dozen instances of company employees being over-familiar with prisoners. Marlan said the incidents involved kissing, touching, and carrying notes from prisoners, all of which are prohibited by MDOC regulations. Marlan is hopeful these problems will be resolved going forward. Aramark took over food service for Michigan's prisons in December. Marlan said the company replaced about 350 state employees. "So we would expect that there would be some transition issues associated with switching a system that large overnight to a contractor," he said. "But we're hopeful that this will continue to improve, and we'll have a good contractual relationship with Aramark." Marlan said the MDOC has eight contract monitors who continuously review operations at Michigan's 31 correctional facilities and regularly meet with Aramark to ensure contract compliance. In a written statement, Aramark said "we are commited to resolving any issues as quickly as possible."


Feb 21, 2014 digital.olivesoftware.com  

LANSING — About 200 prisoners at Kinross Correctional Facility in Kincheloe left their cells and demonstrated Monday over their food — two months after the Department of Corrections eliminated 370 state jobs and privatized its food service. Mel Grieshaber, executive director of the Michigan Corrections Organization union, said he remains extremely concerned about the way the food service is being handled under the $145-million, three-year contract awarded to Ara-mark Correctional Services of Philadelphia. “You don’t screw around with prisoners’ food,” Grieshaber told the Free Press. “They don’t have much else.”  “I hope they get things worked out, because when it gets warm out ... we’re just fearful something might kick off.” Corrections Department spokesman Russ Marlan said the prisoners left their cells and marched in single file into the yard in what was a 25-minute peaceful demonstration at Kinross, in Chippewa County in the eastern Upper Peninsula. The department received advance word that the protest might happen and was able to plan for it, Marlan said. “I think it was somewhat centered on the meals and changes in some of the menu items,” and “some shortages in what the scheduled meal item was supposed to be,” Marlan said. The issue appeared to be isolated to the Kinross facility and the concerns have already been taken up with Aramark officials, Marlan said.    An Aramark spokeswoman could not immediately be reached for comment.    The contract is estimated to save the state $12 million to $16 million a year. It’s likely the ringleaders of the demonstration will be disciplined if they can be identified, he said. Grieshaber said there have been “dozens” of stop orders issued against Aramark employees, barring them from returning to work for a variety of issues, including over-familiarity with inmates. Marlan said there have been 29 stop orders issued against Aramark employees since the company took over food service in December.


Oct 28, 2013 pressofatlanticcity.com

Inmates of Bayside State Prison in Cumberland County are reportedly protesting meal service following the switch to a private food vendor earlier this year. Labor union representatives characterized the protest as a “hunger strike,” but a state Department of Corrections spokeswoman said there have been complaints but no strike. “In the past week, we have had several inmates express dissatisfaction with meals and portion sizes,” DOC spokeswoman Deirdre Fedkenheuer said Saturday. “We are working with the inmate representatives to address their concerns.” Eric Holliday, president of the New Jersey Law Enforcement Supervisors Association, said guards at the Maurice River Township facility reported that inmates have been on strike for several days because the “food is not up to par.” In 2011, 91 inmates staged a one-meal hunger strike in protest of prison services. At the time, a DOC spokesman said their concerns were addressed and the strike ended immediately. This February, the private firm Aramark Correctional Services, took over food production at the facility as part of a state pilot program. According to Aramark’s website, the Philadelphia-based company serves 1 million meals a day, in addition to other support services at 600 correctional facilities. Representatives from Aramark could not be reached for comment.


Oct. 17, 2013 mansfieldnewsjournal.com

MANSFIELD — Two Aramark Food Service employees who worked at Mansfield Correctional Institution were fired over the weekend for “inappropriate relationships” with inmates, according to a prison incident report. A third Aramark employee resigned, according to the report dated Sunday by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. “There was an investigation conducted involving three inmates involved in relationships with three Aramark employees,” the report states. “In result of overwhelming information received from independent sources it was decided to remove C. Swann, L. (Lori) Rush and S. (Shaylee) Wade from their employment as an Aramark contractor at MANCI. “C. Swann was interviewed on Oct. 12. Her belongings were searched and a patdown was performed resulting in no contraband found. C. Swann was informed not to report to work at MANCI. S. Wade was interviewed on Oct. 13 and informed not to report to work at MANCI. L. Rush resigned her position to Ms. Heather Solon (Aramark) on Oct. 13 prior to being interviewed.” The incident report states three inmates involved in the probe were placed in segregation. “Aramark employees do go through training about inappropriate relationships,” said JoEllen Smith, spokesperson for the ODRC. “We take it very seriously.” Two inmates had new tattoos in reference to the workers, the report stated. One is serving 10 years for robbery and aggravated burglary. Another is serving 25 years for involuntary manslaughter, aggravated robbery, kidnapping and having a weapon under disability. A third inmate is serving six years for involuntary manslaughter. He did not admit he was involved with one of the workers, but acknowledged “helping her (one of the women) a lot.” “Information from both inmates and staff members were confirmed through the course of this investigating validating that inappropriate relationships were ongoing between these contractors and inmates,” the report stated. There have been no allegations of criminal activity to date. Scott Basquin, spokesman for MANCI, said Aramark employees have been working at MANCI in food service since Sept. 8. He did not know how many Aramark employees are working at MANCI. “It’s changing daily,” Basquin said. The union representing the majority of corrections employees in the ODRC stated it will be on alert during the transition period to a private food service vendor. “We will be vigilant and watching to be sure that Aramark maintains its contractual obligation and sustains an adequate level of security in the prisons,” said OCSEA President Christopher Mabe. “We will be monitoring this contract very closely.” The corrections employees in food service were there for decades, Mabe said. “These stories are just the beginning. This isn’t the only institution,” he said. The union says the takeover will continue to weaken security in Ohio’s prisons since private food service workers are not trained in protection and security and cannot respond to emergencies. Mabe said this is a warning sign the union has talked about in using mass amounts of private contractors in the department of corrections. “Nobody’s freedoms should be left up to the highest bidder,” Mabe said. “And for-profit companies, that’s what they deal with. When you take away a person’s freedoms through incarceration, there should be no-profit motive behind that.


Jul 15, 2013 sfgate.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A private vendor in line to begin feeding roughly 100,000 prison inmates in Ohio and Michigan has a track record of billing for food it doesn't serve, using substandard ingredients and riling prisoners with its meal offerings, past audits in several states show. But some states say Philadelphia-based Aramark Correctional Services has performed well. The audits in Ohio, Florida and Kentucky found Aramark charged states for meals not served, changed recipes to substitute cheaper ingredients and sometimes skimped on portions. A 2001 audit by then-Ohio Auditor Jim Petro found a verbal amendment to Aramark's two-year contract led the state prisons department to pay Aramark for serving almost 4.5 million meals rather than the 2.8 million meals it actually served. That added $2.1 million to the contract cost. An internal audit by Florida's prisons department in 2007 concluded Aramark's practice of charging the state per inmate rather than per meal created "a windfall for the vendor" after a large number of inmates stopped showing up for meals, reducing company costs by $4.9 million a year. The review found the company was paid for some 6,000 meals a day that it didn't serve. Aramark stopped serving Florida's prison meals in 2009. Kentucky's state auditor launched a review of Aramark in response to the 2009 prison riot at Northpoint Training Center sparked over food issues. Auditor Crit Luallen's 2010 report found Aramark overbilled the state by as much as $130,000 a year, charging for the meals of as many as 3,300 inmates that were shown through head counts not to be incarcerated. Besides payments for unserved meals, the audits found Aramark sometimes substituted cheaper ingredients — receiving inmate-grown food against contract terms or substituting less expensive meat products, for example — without passing savings on to taxpayers. During an Ohio site visit, inspectors reported witnessing a "near riot" at breakfast when Aramark adhered strictly to its contractual portion sizes. In general, states still saved money overall — the primary enticement behind the latest privatization efforts in Ohio and Michigan. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's administration initially decided not to privatize certain prison services after determining three contracts out for bid didn't achieve the savings state law required. Fellow Republicans in the Legislature balked and officials re-evaluated the cost estimates, ultimately awarding the contract to Aramark on grounds the company's proposal would cut about $16 million from the state's current $73 million food service budget. Democrats said the state had "magically reworked the money." The Ohio Civil Service Employees Association questions whether Aramark can deliver the $14 million in annual savings it has promised the administration of Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich without cutting corners. The union, which represents roughly 8,600 state workers in Ohio's adult and youth prisons, had made its own higher bid aimed at keeping prison food service in-house. "As much as the state says they want to give them another shot, all you've got to do is look at their recent history in Kentucky and Florida and you'll see they haven't changed from when Jim Petro did his investigation years ago," said Tim Shafer, the union's operations director. "That's how they make money." Calls and emails from The Associated Press to Aramark seeking comment weren't immediately returned. The $110 million Ohio deal to feed some 50,000 inmates starts Sept. 8 and runs through June 30, 2015, with two opportunities to extend. More than 230 of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction's 433 food service workers have been moved to other positions, and additional relocations are being attempted. The deal calls for the state to pay Aramark for serving three meals a day to the number of inmates at the previous day's midnight census count — a per-inmate arrangement rather than per meal like those criticized by auditors in the past. Michigan's change of heart on cost savings also hinged on agreeing to Aramark's assumption that all 44,000 state inmates would eat three meals a day, a state bulletin on the matter indicated. Shafer said the contracts are a recipe for overbilling. "Not every inmate eats. Not every inmate eats every day. Not every inmate eats every meal," he said. JoEllen Smith, a spokeswoman for Ohio's corrections department, said the state requested "multiple pricing methodologies" from prospective vendors and determined that basing the contract on midnight census counts was the most cost-effective. She said this contract won't allow for verbal changes. Kansas Department of Corrections spokesman Jeremy Barclay said Kansas pays Aramark on "a kind of sliding scale" based on the average population per facility the previous month. He said the state has had a generally positive experience. "We've been using them for at least a decade and overall the track record's been very good," said Barclay. "Keep in mind, we also have internal procedures to make sure that's going well. We don't just sign a contract and say, 'Everything will be well.' We monitor that carefully." Kentucky has also chosen to put safeguards in place as a result of the 2010 audit findings, said Department of Corrections spokeswoman Lisa Lamb. Among other things, the department established a new position devoted to helping monitor the contract, she said.


Mar 20, 2013 kttc.com

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- The University of Minnesota lost almost $16,000 last year on alcohol sales at football games, despite selling more than $900,000 worth of beer and wine. The school released the figures to The Associated Press after a records request. The university reported incurring significant expenses from selling alcohol. Those include hiring additional police and security officers, setting up tents and other facilities, and equipment rental. About half of the $900,000 generated by alcohol sales went directly to Philadelphia-based Aramark Corp., which had the contract to sell beer and wine. University officials say it was never the intent that the school turn a profit on alcohol sales. They expect a small profit this year, since about $30,000 of the 2012 expenses were one-time. A state lawmaker has a bill to also allow the school to also sell alcohol at basketball and hockey games.


March 18, 2013 bangordailynews

MACHIAS, Maine — A decision to outsource meal preparation at the Washington County Jail has been reversed after it was discovered that cost savings were grossly overstated by a former jail administrator, according to the sheriff. “We were misled,” Sheriff Donnie Smith told the county commissioners last week. Although the commissioners originally felt the move could save money and approved hiring the food service company Aramark to provide jail meals, Smith said the figures provided last December by then-Capt. Robert Gross, were incorrect. He said Gross’s figures were questioned by a former cook before a contract was signed with Aramark. Gross, 62, of East Machias resigned in January, one day before the commissioners were to act on his termination following a mismanagement scandal involving inmate funds. A second employee, former jail clerk Karina Richardson, 50, of East Machias also was accused of mismanaging inmate funds and was terminated. She is currently appealing that decision and the Maine attorney general’s office is conducting an ongoing investigation into the scope of the mismanagement. At a Dec. 13 meeting, Gross told the commissioners that the current cost per meal was $4.68 and that Aramark provide meals for $3.99 per meal. Gross estimated the cost savings would have been $30,000 a year. Smith told the commissioners last week, however, that it appears jail meals are being prepared for only $1.16 per meal. Smith said he has launched a full audit of meal costs so a final determination can be made. He said that since the cost discrepancy was first discovered, the County Manager Betsy Fitzgerald had notified Aramark that the contract would not be signed. “We are putting this on hold at the very least until we can get a handle on the actual food costs,” Smith said.

February 08, 2013 morningjournal.com

PERKINS TOWNSHIP — A cook at the Erie County Jail has been arrested after admitting to bringing tobacco, liquor and a pair of scissors to inmates who worked with her in the kitchen. Mildred Hensley, 59, of Sandusky, has been charged with two counts of illegal conveyance of prohibited items or deadly weapons onto the grounds of a detention facility or institution. One count is a misdemeanor charge for bringing the alcohol while the other is a felony as the scissors could have been used as a weapon, said Erie County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Jared Oliver. Tobacco is not listed as a prohibited item. Hensley was busted after an anonymous tipster told deputies Tuesday that Hensley gave inmates a two-liter Sprite bottle full of Tanqueray gin on Super Bowl Sunday. When Hensley came to work Wednesday, she was stopped by the jail administrator and admitted that she had been bringing tobacco for the inmates for at least four months. The investigation found that she’d brought alcohol on Sunday and that a pair of scissors she had with her were meant for an inmate so he could cut his hair, according to Oliver. It does not appear that Hensley gained anything from the deliveries, he said. “She said she did it because she wanted to,” he said. “She said there is really no other reason than that.” Hensley has worked in the jail’s kitchen for more than 20 years as an employee of food services company ARAMARK. In the kitchen, she worked with inmates convicted of misdemeanor crimes. The inmates cut time off their sentence through the work, Oliver said. Three of the inmates involved with the Super Bowl incident have been removed from kitchen and their accumulated time has been revoked, Oliver said. Detectives are interviewing inmates and trying to determine how long Hensley has been doling out goods. Some of the inmates she has helped might not even be in the facility anymore, he said. Hensley was bringing items inside her purse, Oliver said. The matter has raised concern over the potentially lax security imposed on employees. “That is one of the issues we are reviewing concerning the jail staff and the security that takes place when they either come to work or depart from work,” he said. “This is an isolated incident, but we are looking at our security procedures when it comes to staff in our kitchen.”

December 14, 2012 BY Philly.com
AN ARM of the food-services giant Aramark and a local minority-owned business will pay the city a total of $400,000 to settle a suit that accused the companies of fudging their numbers to skirt minority-participation requirements in a Philadelphia prison system contract, the city announced Thursday. "They really were denying opportunities for legitimate minority companies that wanted to work," said city Inspector General Amy Kurland, whose office oversaw the investigation. Aramark Correctional Services provides three meals a day to prisoners, but it is required to subcontract out 20 percent to 25 percent of the work to businesses owned by minorities, women or disabled persons. The suit alleged that Aramark and Strother Enterprises, a minority-business group in Philadelphia, employed a circular payment scheme to overstate how much of the business Strother was getting. Neither company admitted fault in the settlement, which will cost Aramark $352,000 and Strother $48,000. Both will also have to improve their compliance codes. Aramark described the problem as a "reporting discrepancy. "We have corrected the issue and implemented a comprehensive compliance program," the company said in a statement. Strother did not return a request for comment. Kurland said that schemes like this one are a "huge problem." "It's very common," she said. "We've approached companies that have done this and [they] said, 'Well, isn't this the way things are done in Philadelphia?'

August 30, 2012 Northwest Arkansas Business Journal
Former University of Central Arkansas president Allen Meadors is facing a misdemeanor charge stemming from a deal with food vendor Aramark. The office of Faulkner County Prosecutor Cody Hiland filed the charge on Wednesday, nearly a year after the UCA board began an investigation of Meadors. Hiland was out of the office Thursday morning and unavailable for comment. Meadors and board Chairman Scott Roussel apologized last year for not revealing that Aramark offered $700,000 for renovating the UCA president's home if its contract with the school was renewed. Several trustees have they didn't know the Aramark offer was tied to the renewal of its contract with UCA. The trustees said they thought the $700,000 was a gift. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported Wednesday that Meadors' charge was solicitation of tampering with a public record, which "carries a punishment of up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine." Meadors "is accused of urging a vice president to destroy a letter that said the offer would be in exchange for renewing Aramark's contract," the newspaper said.

June 19, 2012 AP
University of Central Arkansas officials are saying little about the resignation of chief of staff Jack Gillean. Gillean has not returned messages left on his cell phone and a UCA spokesman told the Log Cabin Democrat on Monday only that Friday’s resignation is not related to an investigation into money given UCA by food vendor Aramark. Former UCA President Allen Meadors and board President Scott Rousell each resigned following revelations that $700,000 given by Aramark last August to renovate the president’s home was dependent upon Aramark’s contract being renewed for seven years. UCA spokesman Jeff Pitchford said Gillean’s duties included overseeing the campus police department and the affirmative action program. Pitchford said interim UCA President Tom Courtway was not available for comment.

April 27, 2012 Log Cabin
University of Central Arkansas Faculty Senate members are calling for a trustee’s resignation. The group voted Thursday on a resolution requesting Scott Roussel, a real estate business man of Searcy appointed to the board for a second term in 2008 by Gov. Mike Beebe, to leave his post. The action follows the board’s approval of a new deal with Aramark, one that would “wipe clean” $6.7 million in unamortized funds and interest. Roussel voted to approve the contract along with other trustees as it was presented, though governing groups on campus said they believed the trustee should recuse. Thursday’s resolution states that Roussel “was cognizant of the conditions described by Aramark in the acceptance of $700,000 in return for a seven-year, no bid contract for food services on the UCA campus...” It further explains that Roussel “would or should have been aware” of potential damage to the university’s reputation when he announced the large “gift” from the university’s food vendor, and did not disclose, by his account without purpose, that the pledge was contingent upon the renewal of the company’s contract. The money would have furthered renovations under way at the UCA president’s home that was occupied by former president Allen Meadors, who resigned last September after trustees learned of the stipulation. UCA conducted its own interviews shortly after the discovery, but then turned the investigation into possible improprieties by university staff over to Arkansas State Police. State police gave a “lengthy” case file to Twentieth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland earlier this month. Hiland said Friday that his office is still reviewing the file to determine if a criminal act has been committed.

September 7, 2011 Arkansas Times
"There's right and there's wrong and there's UCA." I don't even know what that means. I doubt that the Conway insider who uttered it to me Friday afternoon does either. I use it, though, because it conveys the relevant utter frustration. A few years ago the University of Central Arkansas was the hottest college in the state. It was located in a booming suburban college town. It had a politically astute president. Enrollment was skyrocketing. Television advertising was Landersesque. Then that politically astute president, Lu Hardin, got caught cutting ethical corners to gin up some bonus money for himself to pay gambling debts. He will be going to prison any day now, surely. The UCA Board of Trustees, looking around for the anti-Lu, found its man in Dr. Allen Meadors, a campus graduate with experience as a small-college president and a meek manner. Not long ago I made a crack about Hardin's ethical wasteland in the presence of a leading UCA staff member. It angered her. She explained that she loved the school and that it was steadily righting itself and, essentially, that a smart-aleck press commentator ought to watch his mouth. But now this: Meadors was revealed this week to have misrepresented to the UCA board that the campus food vendor, a company called Aramark, was donating $700,000 to fix up the president's official home across the street from the campus. The board, initially as blindly obeisant to administrative happy talk as with Hardin before, said sure, yes, without delay, we accept this gift for this most urgent academic need and we authorize preliminary architectural designs and cost estimates. Then came that pesky reporter for the statewide daily, famous for bedeviling Hardin, and still wielding the Freedom of Information law like a switchblade. She asked board members if they had known a little detail: Aramark actually would donate the money from one hand only if it was guaranteed that it would reel more money from UCA into the other hand by getting its food service contract renewed without competitive bidding for a period at least long enough for a guaranteed realization of enough profit to get back the gift. Why, no, we didn't know that, said some of these board members, and, by golly, we are just a little bit ticked. They called themselves to a special meeting. This was not charity, but amortizing. It was a food service vendor seeking to escape a new round of competitive bidding by going into the home improvement lending business on the side. It was an advance on marked-up grub the kids would eat later in their hostage environment. I'm advised that this kind of arrangement is not uncommon. But it ought to be. And if it is common, why conspicuously neglect to mention it? Meadors, going all-in for damage control, told the board in this second special meeting that he had erred and that he would recommend that the school not accept the money as offered. He recommended that the school open the food service contract for bidding. The board withdrew its previous approval for a housing allowance by which Meadors and his wife could rent suitable quarters elsewhere until the presidential home was renovated. Meadors' wife, a stronger personality, has been spending quite a bit of time with family in North Carolina. Just 24 hours later, on Friday afternoon, the board met in special session again, this time by phone. Then the board reconvened in public and bought out Meadors' contract. The board could have restored Meadors' authority to live temporarily off campus. But that might simply have kept matters festering — a la Hardin — and nobody wanted to go through that again. Meadors may be a bit of a victim, just as UCA. He clearly erred by not revealing the full nature of the arrangement with the food vendor. But it is entirely possible that he considered such deals commonplace. He may have felt some pressure close to home about inadequate living arrangements, the short-term solution to which got sacrificed in this fast-roiling controversy. So now UCA will start trying again to right the ship.

September 1, 2011 AP
A $700,000 gift from Aramark to the University of Central Arkansas came with a condition that Aramark's food service contract with the university be renewed. At least five members of UCA's Board of Trustees say they did not know about the condition. A letter from Aramark district manager to UCA vice president Diane Newton calls the money an unrestricted grant contingent upon a seven year extension of Aramark's food service contract. UCA President Allen Meadors told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that he takes responsibility for the trustees not knowing the terms of the gift. Meadors says such conditions are not unusual. Trustee Rush Harding III told the Log Cabin Democrat agreed the transaction is common — but said trustees should have been informed.

January 29, 2010 Herald-Leader
State Auditor Crit Luallen said Thursday she would do an audit of the private company that has a nearly $12 million annual contract to serve food at the state's 13 prisons. The announcement came a day after a House committee voted to cancel a contract with Aramark Correctional Services, which served food at Northpoint Training Center at the time of a costly riot there. Also Wednesday, the state released its full investigative report on the Aug. 21 riot, which went into more detail about problems with food at the Mercer County prison. House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Rep. John Tilley, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said Thursday that they thought Luallen should look into Aramark's performance under the contract. "I do think it's appropriate to ask the state auditor in some fashion to audit the situation," Tilley said Thursday. Said Luallen: "While there has not been a formal request yet, there have been enough questions raised by legislators that we will begin to make plans to do an audit of the contract." Members of the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday voted 6-4 to cancel Aramark's contract because of concerns about the food. Many on the committee questioned whether Aramark was skimping on ingredients to serve more people cheaply. "Aramark stands behind the quality of service we provide, which has won the accolades of our clients and the national accreditation agencies who monitor the quality of food service," an Aramark spokeswoman said Wednesday. An audit conducted of Aramark's performance for the Florida prison system in 2007 showed the number of inmates eating meals declined after Aramark took over the food service. But the company was paid based on the number of inmates, not on the number of meals served. Aramark also substituted less costly products such as ground turkey for beef, the audit said. The audit recommended that Florida rebid the food service or take it over. But Aramark terminated the contract near the end of 2008, according to published reports. Gov. Steve Beshear praised prison officials' handling of the riot. He said he was "confounded" with the legislature's "continued fixation with the menus for convicted criminals when we're desperately trying to avoid cutting teachers and state troopers. ... We have more than 10 percent unemployment and Kentucky families are struggling to put food on the table, and I am loath to consider millions more dollars for criminals who wish they could go to Wendy's instead." But Tilley and Stumbo — both Democrats — defended the House's investigation into the riot, which damaged six buildings and caused a fiery melee. "The truth is, we had a riot on our hands that is probably going to cost the taxpayers $10 million," Stumbo said, referring to money Beshear has requested to rebuild the prison outside of Danville. "And we need to find out why the hell we had it." Meanwhile, there are still questions about why key parts of the original report on the riot were not immediately released in November. It was only after the House Judiciary Committee repeatedly asked to see the report that the Department of Corrections agreed to release a redacted version of the full report at Wednesday's House Judiciary Committee meeting. The report released Wednesday showed that Northpoint Warden Steve Haney did not want to implement restrictions that were a primary cause of the riot, but he was overruled by Deputy Commissioner of Adult Institutions Al Parke and Director of Operations James Erwin. The report said the handling of restrictions was "haphazard and poorly planned." The report also revealed other problems before, during and after the riot, including non-existent radio communications among agencies, a lack of documentation, failed video cameras and a considerable delay in the formal investigation. The report said there was confusion over whether Kentucky State Police or Justice Cabinet investigators should handle the post-riot investigation. Those details were not released in a summary Nov. 20. Beshear defended his administration Thursday, saying he was confident the riot was handled correctly. "I have full confidence in the Secretary of the Justice Cabinet J. Michael Brown and his staff and how they handled the Northpoint riot and its subsequent investigation," Beshear said. Kerri Richardson, a spokeswoman for Beshear, said Beshear's office never saw the original report, but had seen the report summary. Beshear's staff asked for more explanation in the summary report but did not ask for anything to be taken out, she said. Jennifer Brislin, a spokeswoman for the Department of Justice, said there was no attempt on the part of the Justice Cabinet or the Department of Corrections to hide or minimize some of the problems on the day of the riot. Department of Corrections Commissioner LaDonna Thompson left out some of those problems in her Nov. 20 summary because she thought some of those details would compromise security at the prison, Brislin said. "During her review, she exempted information that she felt would be a security risk to staff and inmates, and that included information regarding how command decisions were made," Brislin said. House Bill 33 — the bill that would cancel the Aramark contract — now heads to the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee. If the state cancels the contract, it could add as much as $5.4 million a year to the state's cost of feeding inmates, according to the Department of Corrections.

January 28, 2010 Herald-Leader
The warden at Northpoint Training Center did not want to implement the prison yard restrictions that contributed to an August riot that heavily damaged much of the facility, but he was overruled by Department of Corrections officials, according to an investigative report released Wednesday. The investigation also revealed numerous other problems at Northpoint that occurred before, during and after the riot, including inmate anger about food on the day of the riot and a crucial delay in the formal investigation of how the fiery melee occurred. After reviewing the report, the House Judiciary Committee voted 9-4 to approve a bill that would cancel the state's $12 million annual contract with Aramark Correctional Services to provide meals at 13 prisons. The investigative report showed that anger over food contributed to the Aug. 21 riot at the Mercer County prison. The report, which was withheld from the public by state officials until Wednesday, puts more emphasis on food as a contributing cause of the riot than the state Corrections Department's "review" of the investigative report, which was released Nov. 20. The review concluded that the main cause of the riot was inmate anger about a lockdown and other restrictions imposed after a fight at the prison. However, the latest report shows that virtually every inmate and employee interviewed by investigators said that Aramark food and its prices at the canteen were among the reasons for the riot. The report lists those issues as the third and fourth factors, respectively, that contributed to the riot. "Apparently, there had been complaints for years about the quality of the food, the portion sizes and the continual shortage and substitutions for scheduled menu items," the report states. "Sanitation of the kitchen was also a source of complaints," says the report. Inmates set fires that destroyed six buildings, including those containing the kitchen, canteen, visitation center, medical services, sanitation department and a multipurpose area. Several dorms were heavily damaged, and eight guards and eight inmates were injured. 'Haphazard' action -- According to the report, the riot began 15 minutes after details were posted about new movement restrictions for prisoners in the yard. The restrictions came after an Aug. 18 fight over canteen items that caused prison officials to institute a lockdown. The investigation found that Northpoint Warden Steve Haney wanted to return the prison yard to normal operations as he typically did after a lockdown, but he was overruled by Al Parke, deputy commissioner of adult institutions and James Erwin, director of operations. "The implementation of the controlled movement policy at NTC was haphazard and poorly planned at best," says the report. The report also says the warden never got word that inmates had dumped food from their trays on the floor at breakfast and at lunch on the day of the riot. Aramark officials e-mailed details of the incident to a deputy warden at Northpoint, but the information apparently was not passed along, the report said. During the riot, "radio communications between all agencies involved was virtually non-existent, causing chaos and a general feeling of disconnect with the various agencies involved," according to the report. After the riot, there was a "gross lack of coordination of submitting reports," evidence was compromised because most video cameras failed the evening of the riot, and there was a considerable delay in the formal investigation, the report said. Kentucky State Police immediately tried to begin an investigation to see which inmates were involved in the riot but was advised by the corrections department's operations director that the investigation would be conducted internally. Several days later, the report said, two staff members from the Justice Cabinet determined that state police should conduct the investigation. "The criminal investigations should have started immediately to preserve evidence, testimony and critical information," the report says. "After a few days, staff thoughts and observations became diluted."

December 3, 2008 Star-Ledger
The family of a young girl paralyzed in a drunk-driving accident nine years ago received a $25 million settlement from Aramark Corp., the Giants Stadium beer vendor whose employees continued to serve the intoxicated fan who caused the crash. The settlement with the family of Antonia Verni, who is now 11, took place last year but was not disclosed until today, when a state appeals court ruled that sealed documents in the case must be made public. Antonia, a quadriplegic who requires a ventilator to breathe, received $23.5 million in the settlement, said the family's lawyer, David A. Mazie of Roseland. Her mother, Fazila Verni, received $1.5 million for injuries she suffered in the crash.

February 24, 2008 Naperville Sun
A company hoping to win another contract at the DuPage County Jail has donated thousands of dollars to elected county officials. Aramark, a Philadelphia-based company that has provided the jail's food service for 21 years, has poured $14,770 into campaign coffers of State's Attorney Joe Birkett, Sheriff John Zaruba, County Board Chairman Bob Schillerstrom and others since 1999, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections. County Board members Brien Sheahan, Debra Olson and Mike McMahon have received several hundred dollars each. In a bidding process fraught with ambiguity and conflict, Aramark has been fighting for more than a year to continue serving food to jail inmates. When the bid was redone for the third time in December, the company submitted a $949,616 bid that was $6,000 lower than that of its competitor, Minnesota-based A'viands. But after the state's attorney's office said Aramark submitted a menu that didn't meet requirements, officials recommended the bid be awarded to A'viands. Aramark's menu diverged slightly by offering breaded fish patties rather than the specified fish fillets and 12-ounce instead of 8-ounce oatmeal servings, Assistant State's Attorney Tom Downing said. Potential savings -- However, County Board members are giving Aramark another shot at the contract, opting for a fourth bid instead of awarding the contract to A'viands. They say the county can save thousands of dollars by changing bidding requirements. Instead of stipulating a specific menu, board members want to mandate only certain nutritional requirements, as was done during the second round of bidding. Allowing bidders to submit their own menu resulted in a bid from Aramark that was $120,000 less than when it followed a menu mandated by the county. That cost difference is enough to justify yet another bid, said Sheahan, calling the whole process "ridiculous." "We're basically having a $120,000 argument over whether milk and oatmeal will fit on a tray, and I think we owe it to taxpayers to make sure we are getting the best value for their money," he said. "We're not interested in spending extra every year so people at the County Jail can eat fish fillets instead of fish sticks." Nothing to hide -- Sheahan said a $500 contribution from Aramark to his primary campaign had nothing to do with his support for a fourth bid. "I really don't care whether Aramark gets it or not," he said. "I want the lowest bid to get it. I think the interest of the committee is just to get the best value for taxpayers." Saying she believes Aramark has submitted responsible bids, Olson, of Wheaton, said she supports a fourth bid to potentially save the $120,000. "This is about saving taxpayers money," said Olson, who noted that she has supported extending the temporary contracts to A'viands. "Any implications that my motivations are other than in the best interests of taxpayers is insulting." Birkett, who has received $3,600 from Aramark, said the campaign contributions played no role in the opinion rendered by his office, which ruled Aramark's bid noncompliant. "If I'm asked for opinion or legal guidance, I give it, free from any political support I've received," Birkett said. The recipient of $4,500 from Aramark, Schillerstrom sided with the state's attorney, saying Aramark failed to meet the menu requirements. "I believe A'viands is the lowest responsible bidder," he said. "I think it's clear that Aramark did not comply with the bid." Zaruba did not return a phone call seeking comment. Nutrition requirements -- Disputes about nutrition requirements have plagued the bidding process, which began last March. After the county declared A'viands the winner of the first bid, Aramark filed a lawsuit claiming its submitted menus were deficient. Schillerstrom upheld the protest, finding that both companies failed to meet requirements and declared a second round of bidding. For the second bid, the county outlined more specific nutrition standards. But both companies fell short, saying it was impossible to meet sodium requirements. In the third bid, the county hired a nutritionist to create a specific menu. While A'viands said the menu gave clear and specific requirements, Aramark disagreed. "It was crystal clear to us that we were to submit a menu that exactly met those requirements, and that's what we did," said Perry Rynders, CEO of A'viands. Rynders expressed "significant disappointment" at the county's decision to hold another bid, saying no one had disputed that A'viands did meet requirements. Temporary contract -- To keep prison inmates fed, the county has issued a string of temporary contracts to A'viands since July. But it's difficult to attract and hire good workers at the jail while the contract remains in limbo, Rynders said. "It's very difficult for us to find staff to work on a temporary basis," he said. "Each time this comes up, they're wondering if their job is on the line. I don't think the County Board understands how difficult this is on us." Aramark spokesman Tim Elliot said the county should return to a nutrition-based bid instead of one based on a menu. That is standard procedure for most of the 700 correctional facilities the company services worldwide, he said. Aramark is a private company that is the 19th-largest employer on the Fortune 500, employing 240,000 workers in 19 countries. Hospitals, eldercare centers, schools, corporations and sports stadiums are among the company's clients. Board member Jim Healy of Naperville agreed with Aramark that the county's "ambiguous" menu should be thrown out in favor of nutritional requirements. "We don't care what you serve as long as you meet the nutritional standards," he said. The county should have stuck with very basic nutritional requirements as it had done until last year, said board member Jim Zay. "This is insane ... the more people we get involved, the worse it gets," Zay said. "This has been costing us hundreds of thousands more because we've been screwing around with it."

November 7, 2007 Financial Times
Madison Dearborn is preparing a sale of Valitas, a company that provides medical care to prison populations, three sources told mergermarket. An auction for the company will probably kick off early next year, and the company is working on putting together a staple financing package at the moment, according to one of the sources. UBS has been mandated to run the process, the second source said. Valitas’ EBITDA is around USD 50m, according to an industry banker. The company’s main subsidiary, Correctional Medical Services, reached USD 750m in revenues in 2007, according to its website. The company is likely to draw interest from private equity buyers only, as there are no natural strategic buyers for the asset, the banker added. Valitas could draw interest from Maximus, a listed provider of healthcare services to the US government, a second industry banker said. Madison Dearborn backed a management buyout of the Missouri-based company in 1997 from Aramark, the company that provides food service and uniforms to institutions, according to news reports. Under Aramark the division was called Spectrum Healthcare, and included a business that provided contract healthcare services to the US military. That business, however, was sold to Team Health, another Madison Dearborn portfolio holding, in 2002. Team Health itself was sold to the Blackstone Group, in 2005. The company is one of the oldest healthcare investments in Madison Dearborn’s portfolio, the industry banker said. A company spokesperson declined comment, and a Madison Dearborn official did not return calls.

March 18, 2007 The Oregonian
Federal court statistics show that plaintiffs filed nearly 4,200 cases under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, which governs pay practices, in fiscal 2006, which ended Sept. 30. That's up from 4,040 cases in fiscal 2005 and 2,751 in 2003. In Portland this month, Richard Bird filed a class-action lawsuit against his ex-employer, Aramark Correctional Services Inc. He alleges the nationwide prison-service provider broke Oregon laws by failing to properly pay him and co-workers when they worked overtime, took rest periods and put in for their final paychecks. An Aramark spokeswoman said Friday that the company does not comment on pending litigation. Those claims surfaced in a state court -- Multnomah County Circuit Court, specifically. And although Oregon doesn't track civil cases by cause, attorneys say wage-and-hour claims are numerous in state venues. Why the flood of cases? It's easy for employers to make a mistake and relatively easy for employees to make them pay for it, said Nancy Cooper, an attorney with Bullivant Houser Bailey in Portland. Wage-and-hour rules are complicated and vary across state lines, making national firms such as Philadelphia-based Aramark vulnerable. Oregon, for instance, requires employers to provide paid 10-minute breaks, Cooper said. Arizona does not.

February 3, 2007 AP
The first time Joseph Neubauer took Aramark Corp. private in 1984, the deal was worth $889 million. When he and other managers led a leveraged buyout of the nation's largest food services company a second time, the price tag zoomed to $6.24 billion. And the biggest winner among shareholders at Aramark, which Friday completed its first week as a newly private company? Neubauer and his family, whose holdings soared in value to almost $1 billion. That puts Neubauer, 65, who came to the United States from Israel alone at the age of 14 and said he learned English from John Wayne movies, near the top of the list of beneficiaries from a wave of leveraged buyouts that has swept corporate America in the past year.

August 14, 2006 In These Times
While New Mexico’s landscape may make the state the Land of Enchantment, its rapidly growing rates of incarceration have been utterly disenchanting. What’s worse, New Mexico is at the top of the nation’s list for privatizing prisons; nearly one-half of the state’s prisons and jails are run by corporations. Supposedly, states turn to private companies to cope better with chronic overcrowding and for low-cost management. However, a closer look suggests a different rationale. A recent report from the Montana-based Institute on Money in State Politics reveals that during the 2002 and 2004 election cycles, private prison companies, directors, executives and lobbyists gave $3.3 million to candidates and state political parties across 44 states. According to Edwin Bender, executive director of the Institute on Money in State Politics, private prison companies strongly favor giving to states with the toughest sentencing laws—in essence, the ones that are more likely to come up with the bodies to fill prison beds. Those states, adds Bender, are also the ones most likely to have passed “three-strikes” laws. Those laws, first passed by Washington state voters in 1993 and then California voters in 1994, quickly swept the nation. They were largely based on “cookie-cutter legislation” pushed by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), some of whose members come from the ranks of private prison companies. Florida leads the pack in terms of private prison dollars, with its candidates and political parties receiving almost 20 percent of their total contributions from private prison companies and their affiliates. Florida already has five privately owned and operated prisons, with a sixth on the way. It’s also privatized the bulk of its juvenile detention system. Texas and New Jersey are close behind. But in Florida, some of the influence peddling finally seems to be backfiring. Florida State Corrections Secretary James McDonough alarmed private prison companies with a comment during an Aug. 2 morning call-in radio show. “I actually think the state is better at running the prisons,” McDonough told an interviewer. His comments followed an internal audit last year by the state’s Department of Management Services, which demonstrated that Florida overpaid private prison operators by $1.3 million. Things may no longer be quite as sunny as they once were in Florida for the likes of Nashville, Tenn.-based Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and the former Wackenhut, now known as the GEO Group of Boca Raton, Fla. But with a little bit of spiel-tinkering—and a shift of attention to other states—the prison privatizers are likely to keep going. The key shift, Bender explains, is that “the prison industry has gone from a we-can-save-you-money pitch to an economic-development model pitch.” In other words, says Bender, “you need [their] prisons for jobs.” If political donations are any measure, economically challenged and poverty-stricken states like New Mexico are a great target. In this campaign cycle, Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson has already received more contributions from a private prison company than any other politician campaigning for state office in the United States. The Institute of Money in State Politics, which traced the donations, reported that GEO has contributed $42,750 to Richardson since 2005—and another $8,000 to his running mate, Lt. Gov. Diane Denish. Another $30,000 went from GEO to the Richardson-headed Democratic Governors Association this past March. Richardson’s PAC, Moving America Forward, was another prominent recipient of GEO donations. Now, its former head, prominent state capitol lobbyist Joe Velasquez, is a registered lobbyist for GEO Care Inc., a healthcare subsidiary that runs a hospital in New Mexico. But don’t get the idea that GEO has any particular love for Democrats: $95,000 from the corporation went to the Republican Governors Association last year alone. What companies like GEO do love are the millions of dollars rolling in from lucrative New Mexico contracts to run the Lea County Correctional Facility (operating budget: $25 million/year), and the Guadalupe County Correctional Facility ($13 million/year), among others. CCA also owns and operates the state’s only women’s facility in Grants ($11 million per year). To make sure that those dollars keep flowing, GEO and CCA have perfected the art of the “very tight revolving door,” says Bender, which involves snapping up former corrections administrators, PAC lobbyists and state officials to serve as consultants to private prison companies. In fact, the current New Mexico Corrections Department Secretary Joe Williams was once on GEO’s payroll as their warden of the Lea County Correctional Facility. Earlier this year, Williams was placed on unpaid administrative leave after accusations surfaced that he spent state travel and phone funds to pursue a very close relationship with Ann Casey. Casey is a registered lobbyist in New Mexico for Wexford Health Sources, which provides health care for prisoners at Grants, and Aramark, which provides most of the state’s inmate meals. In her non-lobbying hours, it turns out that Casey is also an assistant warden at a state prison in Centralia, Ill. It appears that even for a prison industry enchanted by public-private partnership, Williams and Casey may have gone too far.

August 9, 2006 Toledo Blade
Food-service company Aramark Corp. agreed yesterday to a $6.3 billion buyout by a group of investors including Joseph Neubauer, the company's chairman and chief executive officer. The buyers will also assume $2 billion in debt. The deal is the latest in a series of management-led buyouts. Others recently include the $21 billion offer to take hospital chain HCA Inc. private and the $13.4 billion offer for oil and gas pipeline operator Kinder Morgan Inc. Aramark said yesterday that shareholders will get $33.80 in cash for each share, an improvement on the $32-a-share initial bid made by the same group in May. Shares fell 47 cents to $32.58 on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Aramark has approximately 240,000 employees in 20 countries. It provides food services, facilities management, and uniform apparel to hospitals, schools, stadiums, and arenas.

May 1, 2006 Bloomberg
Aramark Corp., the food-service company that sells hot dogs and beer at Boston's Fenway Park and Shea Stadium in New York, received a $5.8 billion takeover offer from a group led by its chairman and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The group, which also includes JPMorgan Chase & Co., Thomas H. Lee Partners LP and Warburg Pincus LLC, bid $32 a share, Philadelphia-based Aramark said today in a statement. That's 14 percent more than its April 28 close. Aramark's shares surged as high as $34.95 as investors bet the company, which also runs college and corporate cafeterias, would eventually fetch more from the buyout group or another acquirer. The company's board formed a committee of independent directors to review the proposal, Aramark said. ``There exists for insiders an opportunity to sell the company to a rival bidder or compete in a bidding war for the company,'' JPMorgan Chase analyst Michael Fox wrote in a report. Fox has a ``neutral'' rating on Aramark. Private-equity firms have announced more than $120 billion of takeovers this year, up from $83 billion in the same period of 2005, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Pressure to meet quarterly earnings targets and abide by new accounting and governance laws have pushed some companies to go private. Leveraged buyout specialists usually borrow about two- thirds of the purchase price to finance acquisitions. Their goal is to improve the operating performance of the companies they purchase, often by cutting costs, and then sell the companies in two to three years to make a profit.

BBC
August 22, 2011 Daily Mail
ALL the old jokes about the BBC canteen are true – and it’s no laughing matter. For years the grub provided cheeky material for stars including Ronnie Corbett, Peter Sellers, Terry Wogan and Les Dawson. Sellers quipped on the Goon show in 1954: “Lunch is now being served in the BBC canteen. Doctors are standing by.” And Wogan regularly refers to his Beeb tea as “the evil brew”. Now, following a Freedom of Information request, the Mirror can reveal things seems to be as bad as ever. More than 130 staff have moaned about catering at TV Centre in the last two years. One claimed to have found animal droppings in a sandwich. He wrote: “I could have been poisoned.” A colleague said he saw a mouse run across the serving counter at breakfast. He said: “It fair put me off the scones.” Another wrote: “Fingers crossed that this time I’d find some meat in the lamb stew. Alas it was not to be.” Gripes about the canteen and other cafes in the West London centre included “dust-dry” toast, “undrinkable” coffee and “shameful” service. And there was an outcry when the Beeb announced it was closing a popular “greasy spoon” van used by workers at nearby Shepherd’s Bush. Catering firm Aramark, which serves 4,500 meals a day, said the complaints represented a tiny percentage. Chief executive Andrew Main insisted: “Most of the feedback we get is entirely positive.”

Bexar County Jail, Bexar County, Texas
May 13, 2009 KSAT
Most people can simply run out to the store when they need a jar of peanut butter or a loaf of bread, but people behind bars are a captive audience for such necessities, literally. Inmates at the Bexar County jail are allowed to buy simple things like ramen soup, soap and candy bars at the jail commissary, run by Aramark, but now some wonder if they're not being ripped off. "The prices are just outrageous and ridiculous,” said one inmate. "I think they're outrageous,” said another. “They're terrible." Abel Gallardo agrees. "Here we go baby. Where are we going, HEB?" Gallardo said to his small child as he pushed the child in a toy car near the home they share on the southside. Gallardo is trying to raise two kids while his wife is in jail. He said the jail commissary’s high prices make it hard on families to get by, because money has to be spent behind bars. "They need to treat these ladies and these guys right,” Gallardo said. “Yeah, they committed a crime, well they're sitting in jail paying for it." In a comparison shopping trip, the KSAT 12 Defenders found that a bar of Irish Spring soap is $1.29 in the commissary, but $.75 at a store. Candy bars are $1.09 in the commissary versus $.74 in the store. Chili is $3.59 in the commissary, $1.45 at the store. A tuna pouch is $2.99 in the commissary, $.89 in the store and the ramen soup is $.69 in the commissary, but only $.15 in the store. "It's just straight highway robbery," said an inmate. But the jail said prices here are in line with convenience store prices, not grocery store prices, and that the county takes 35 percent of the profits from commissary profits and puts the money back into inmate services.

Brown County Jail, Brown County, Wisconsin
June 14, 2007 Green Bay Press Gazette
The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision that Brown County Sheriff Dennis Kocken doesn’t have the constitutional power to privatize food service at the jail could cost the county more than $1 million a year. But Bruce Ehlke, the Madison attorney representing the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union, said the court’s decision preserves the state legislature’s authority over county offices such as sheriff, district attorney and coroner. “A decision in favor of the sheriff would have substantially impaired the state legislature from having anything to say about county government,” Ehlke said Thursday. “It’s one thing to blow off a few disgruntled employees, but there were very significant constitutional issues here.” The court voted 4-3 that the union could challenge Kocken’s decision to lay off its workers and enter an agreement with Illinois-based Aramark Correctional Services to provide the jail’s food service. Kocken said the privatized service saves the county about $1.1 million a year and allows him to put more officers on the road and at the jail. Kocken was not available for comment Thursday. A spokesman in Kocken’s office said questions should be forwarded to attorney Tom Godar in Madison, who represents Kocken in the case. Godar did not return calls to his office Thursday. Dean Meyer, executive director of the Badger State Sheriff’s Association, which backed Kocken with a friend-of-the-court brief, called the ruling disappointing.

Camden County Jail, Camden, New Jersey
February 17, 2009 Courier-Post
Rodent droppings, improper food storage and plumbing problems afflicted the kitchen at the Camden County Correctional Facility early this month, according to a county health report. A Feb. 2 inspection at the county jail, in downtown Camden, turned up more than a half-dozen health-related violations in the kitchen. It serves about 60,000 meals a day to inmates and staff, according to the inspection report. "The presence of mice throughout kitchen and storage area was evident," according to the report signed by inspectors Chris Naddeo and Caryelle Lasher. They estimated more than 200 mouse droppings had collected there. Responding to media inquiries on Friday, the county administration released a written statement that says that "a corrective-action plan is in motion." "Inspectors will work closely with the Correctional Facility's administration to make sure appropriate policies and procedures are in place and implemented," the statement reads. County jail inmates carry out day-to-day food preparation under the supervision of Aramark Correctional Services workers, the county reported. Aramark manages and operates the kitchen, according to the prepared statement. The jail, the county health department and Aramark are cooperating to address all the problems in the health report, including the cleanliness and food-preparation concerns, the statement reads. Among the problems outlined in the inspection report: Floors in the kitchen were not smooth or easily cleaned. Instead, they were worn and allowed water, grease and food debris to collect. Food was not covered well enough or protected from contamination during storage. Mouse droppings were discovered in some loosely covered butter. External doors near outdoor Dumpsters were not solid or tight-fitting, so they did not protect well against rodents or insects. A slow leak had developed in a storage-room ceiling. Several foods -- grits, chicken, rice and beef -- were not kept at required temperatures. Plumbing systems were not kept in good repair. Some water was draining directly onto the floor.

Campbell University, Harnett County, North Carolina
January 17, 2008 Dunn Daily Record
The Harnett County Sheriff's Office has busted a burglary ring which struck Campbell University student housing during the Christmas holidays. Two suspects have been arrested and Harnett County Sheriff Larry Rollins said he plans to arrest three more but offered no details. In custody are Terrance Jerel Moore, 21, and 22-year-old Leslie Herman Gaitor, both of Main Street in Buies Creek. Both men have been charged with 12 felony counts each of breaking and entering, larceny and possession of stolen goods. Mr. Moore was employed as a cook at the Chick-fil-A on the Campbell University campus, which is run by the Aramark food management company. An Aramark official declined comment. Sheriff Rollins said all of the suspects in the case except Mr. Moore are former Campbell students. Most of the burglaries took place in Bob Barker Hall, he said. Stolen items included laptop computers, PlayStation games and textbooks.

Cascade County Regional Jail, Cascade County, Montana
January 28, 2011 Great Falls Tribune
A former Cascade County Detention Center contract employee pleaded not guilty Thursday to five counts of sexual intercourse without consent stemming from accusations that she had sex with an unidentified inmate. Rebecca Rose Pfeifle, 44, was charged with the felony counts earlier this month. An affidavit from the Cascade County Sheriff's Office states that she admitted to at least five different incidents in which she had sex with an inmate she supervised as an ARAMARK food service employee.

January 6, 2011 Great Falls Tribune
A food service employee at the Cascade County Detention Center was charged Wednesday with five felonies after being accused of having a sexual relationship with an inmate. Becky Pfeifle was arrested by the sheriff's office deputies after an internal investigation by ARAMARK, Pfeifle's employer. Pfeifle is charged with five counts of sexual intercourse without consent. Under Montana law, an inmate cannot consent to a sexual relationship. The sheriff's office did not release the name of the inmate involved in the alleged incidents.

October 27, 2005 Great Falls Tribune
The kitchen supervisor at the Cascade County regional jail was arrested at the correctional facility Tuesday for allegedly smuggling illegal drugs, tobacco and smoking paraphernalia to inmates in exchange for a small fee. Kelly Jerad McCann, 21, appeared in District Court Tuesday on charges of transferring of illegal articles to inmates, a felony. McCann is an employee of ARAMARK Corp., a national company the jail contracts with to supply meals at the facility. Detention officers became suspicious when two inmates chosen at random tested positive for marijuana.

Central New Mexico CF, Los Lunas, New Mexico
July 31, 2012 KOB News 4
There has been a lot of bad press around correctional facilities in New Mexico over the last six weeks. But Corrections Secretary Gregg Marcantel said it is all part of a culture change. Two employees of food vendor Aramark have been arrested over the last six weeks for smuggling contraband into prisons. Candace Holmes was arrested for smuggling drugs into a correctional facility in Las Cruces in June. Then on Sunday, Mel Baca admitted to smuggling food into the Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Los Lunas. A fellow food vendor suspected Baca of the smuggling and reported it. Baca admitted to the crime during an interview with the prison officers, but that just started his contraband list. Officers searched Baca's lunch box and found a cell phone, something Secretary Marcantel called a "serious violation." Then officers searched his car, finding alcohol, prescription drugs and "about a 12-inch long knife," Marcantel said. The officers were not sure whether Baca planned on smuggling those into the prison, but the fact he had them in his car is a criminal violation. Baca was arrested for a fourth-degree felony of smuggling contraband into a correctional facility.

Clayton County Jail, Clayton County, Georgia
November 25, 2009 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Extra officers had to quell a small protest of Clayton County inmates upset about cold meals at the jail. About a dozen male inmates were eating lunch in a common area at the jail on Tuesday when they began complaining about the meal, which was cold. “They were upset about the potatoes being undercooked and initially didn’t return to their cells,” Clayton County Sheriff Kem Kimbrough told the AJC on Wednesday. Guards summoned more corrections officers who were able to calm the inmates and get them back in their cells. The ordeal took only “a matter of minutes,” Kimbrough said. No injuries were reported and there was no force used, the sheriff said. “Once the extra corrections officers entered the section, everyone went to their cells without any resistance,” Kimbrough said. The protest occurred the day after the AJC visited the Clayton jail and interviewed disgruntled inmates about the cold food. On Sunday, the AJC reported that the 1,900 Clayton inmates have been eating cold meals for five weeks because of broken kitchen equipment. Five weeks ago, officials deemed the jail’s three large kettles -- used to cook rice, pasta and potatoes -- unsafe to use because of broken equipment. Last week, the county commission allocated $60,000 to purchase new kettles, but they won’t be installed until mid-January. The jail has also been operating for about a year without four stoves and three large skillets, which all broke down, food services manager Ricky Jordan said. Georgia law requires inmates be served two hot meals a day. The sheriff said inmates are still getting three meals a day and the same portions. Despite the lack of hot meals, Kimbrough said there has not been an increase in illness or complaints from inmates. Food vendor Aramark, which runs the kitchen at the jail, is working to heat some food in the sheriff’s staff dining area, Jordan said.

Cook County Jail, Cook, Illinois
May 4, 2010 Sun Times
A cook assigned to bring food to Cook County Jail was sentenced to two years probation today after he pleaded guilty to bringing marijuana into the facility. Last fall, Cook County investigators received a tip that Ivan Garcia, 22, had been smuggling marijuana and tobacco into the jail. At the time of his arrest in October, Garcia worked as Aramark’s supervisor of cooks. Aramark provides food services at the jail, according to the Cook County sheriff’s office. Garcia allegedly accepted cash payments from a friend or family member of the inmate, then smuggled the contraband in and delivered it to the inmate while working in the cafeteria.

October 30, 2009 Daily Herald
A Cook County Jail cook has been charged with smuggling marijuana into the jail for an inmate. Cook County sheriff's police said Ivan Garcia, 22, of Huntley, was paid by a relative or friend of an inmate to smuggled pot and tobacco into the jail and deliver it while working in the jail cafeteria. After receiving a tip about Garcia, an undercover operation was conducted by the sheriff's internal affairs division. On Oct. 16, an undercover officer approached Garcia and, in a videotape, he's shown accepting $500 in exchange for smuggling an ounce of marijuana into the jail, the sheriff's office said. After the transaction, Garcia was arrested, authorities said. He's been charged with felony possession of cannabis with intent to deliver, and is free on $30,000 bond. Garcia works as supervisor of cooks for Aramark, a jail contractor.

April 4, 2007 Sun Times
"I'm not going to be a minority front for anybody," declared Chicago businessman Harold Davis. Who asked you to? "Mike Maltese," answered Davis. Davis, the solitary figure you see in the picture, standing alone in a big empty South Side warehouse, called after I'd written about the FBI paying a visit last month to fired Cook County employee Paula Perkins. Perkins' job was to make sure firms like Davis' that applied for lucrative county contracts were run by actual minorities and were not just fronts for thick-necked white guys, a time-honored tradition in these parts. Perkins' axing, some believe, was the result of her doing her job too well. "I know her," Davis told me. "Ms. Perkins' job was to prove that I was not phony." And that she did. After a 14-month evaluation and inspection of his operation, Perkins certified Davis' company, American Enterprise Food Service, as a bona fide African-American business. She reaffirmed that Monday, saying, "When I saw it, it was full of merchandise . . . people were in there working." Perkins' certification paved the way for Davis to win an 18 percent share of $62 million in contracts to supply commissary products (chips, underwear, paper products) to inmates at Cook County Jail. The main contractor, Aramark Correctional Services Inc., is part of a multinational, multibillion-dollar corporation that services 475 prisons across North America, including Cook County jail. It's a Fortune 500 company with a reputation for racial diversity. Davis begs to differ. He claims that Aramark's account executives based in Oakbrook Terrace didn't want a minority partner at all. "They wanted a minority front," he told me as we walked through his empty warehouse on Monday. Exactly who told you that? "Mike Maltese did," he said, referring to Aramark's district manager who has since been transferred to its Kentucky division. Any relation to imprisoned Cicero Town President Betty Loren-Maltese? Not that there's anything wrong with that. Davis said Maltese conceded he was her nephew, but didn't want to talk about it. Maltese did not return my phone calls. Company spokeswoman Sarah Jarvis Tuesday told me, "Aramark does not discuss personnel or contract matters, but we conduct our business with utmost integrity and according to the highest ethical standards." Davis wants to argue that point. He says his contract began in February of 2006 and that from the beginning, the Aramark guys did all the purchasing, hiring and running of the warehouse. Davis said he expected, after a brief training period, that he would take over all of those responsibilities. "I started asking questions," he said. "When was I going to take over the warehouse?" Never, was the the answer he says he got. Maltese, claims Davis, offered him $17,000 a month in "free money" to be a "pass through . . . a dummy company," Maltese allegedly preferring to have one of his own guys do the actual running of his operation. Davis said he told Maltese no. And that, he says, is when, in the summer of 2006, Aramark pulled its merchandise out of his warehouse and stopped paying the rent. The county, however, is still paying Aramark on that contract, though Davis gets none of it. Aramark's spokeswoman said the company couldn't release specifics but terminated the deal "for legitimate business reasons." All of this makes me want to talk to Betty Hancock Perry. Hancock Perry is the head of Contract Compliance, one of the many county departments the feds are currently crawling all over. It was Hancock Perry who fired Paula Perkins earlier this year. And Hancock Perry to whom Davis reported his problems with Aramark, according to letters and memos I've seen. My request Tuesday to interview her was turned down by County Board President Todd Stroger, who issued a statement saying he referred my inquiries to his inspector general but would not "compel any employee to speak publicly about this ongoing investigation." We await the results. I wonder, though, if the FBI's next visit won't be to an empty warehouse on the Far South Side.

October 22, 2004 Sun Times
Aramark, accused of using politics to secure the food service contract at the Cook County Jail, will likely hang onto the contract because it is the low bidder. Bids were opened Thursday and they showed Aramark will charge about 75 cents per meal, compared with 99 cents from Amerimeals and Compass -- which accused Aramark of playing politics last month.

September 14, 2004 Sun Times
A lucrative Cook County contract is being extended three months, as county officials debate how much political patronage has influenced the contract process. Aramark will continue to provide food at the county jail, at a rate of $856,000 a month, while county officials seek bids for a new contract. Aramark signed a $39 million contract in 2000, but with increases, the contract is now worth more than $43 million. Last month, as the contract came up for bid, an Aramark competitor -- Compass, a division of Canteen -- claimed the bid process was rife with troubles, including the influence of politics, and backed out of the bid process, leaving Aramark as the only qualified bidder for another contract. Aramark hired John Robinson and contracted with John Maul, both former aides to Sheriff Michael Sheahan, and Compass claims they influenced the bid process. Compass also said it was denied records and access to information needed to submit a bid. Campaign finance records show Aramark and its many divisions since 2000 have contributed $11,240 to county officials, including commissioners and Sheah. With allegations lingering that the fix was in, Cook County officials were set to open bids Thursday on a $50 million food service contract at the county jail.  But when only one company -- Aramark -- submitted a proper bid, county officials said they weren't even opening it, instead opting to re-bid the contract in hopes of attracting more companies.  Fat chance, at least one of Aramark's competitors said, as Compass Group -- a division of Canteen -- alleges that Aramark has hired enough cronies of Sheriff Michael Sheahan that it is sure to lock up the contract. Both Sheahan and Aramark deny these allegations and Sheahan encouraged Compass to sit down and discuss its concerns with the county.  Aramark holds the contract now, but is accused by Compass of creating unsanitary food conditions at the jail, attracting rodents and airborne disease by leaving food out for several hours before serving inmates. Compass also alleged, in a letter sent last week to county officials, that as it tried to get records to prepare a bid, it was rebuffed time and again.  (Sun Times, August 27, 2004)

A Cook County Board commissioner called on his fellow commissioners Monday to block a $50 million contract for jail food until allegations of bias are resolved.  Chicago Democrat Forrest Claypool made the demand Monday after Crain's Chicago Business reported that a competitor for the contract accused the sheriff's office of not giving it information necessary to bid.  The contractor, Canteen Correctional Services, is competing against Aramark Correctional Services, which employs two former top aides to Sheriff Michael Sheahan and may end up being the only bidder for the job. 
(Daily Herald, August 24, 2004)

A firm that had hoped to oust a politically connected competitor on a huge Cook County contract instead is pulling out of the bidding — complaining of "flawed and biased" county procurement procedures.  In a blunt letter to Sheriff Michael Sheahan and other county officials Friday, Canteen Correctional Services says it will be unable to bid for an estimated $50-million pact to feed inmates at the Cook County Jail because officials haven't given it the data it needs to compete, despite repeated requests.  That means incumbent contract-holder Aramark Correctional Services may face no opposition for a new four-year pact on Thursday, when Mr. Sheahan, who operates the jail, and other officials are due to open bids.  Aramark employs Mr. Sheahan's former top aide, John Robinson, as a lobbyist and vice-president. Mr. Robinson resigned as undersheriff in December 2000, days after revelations that he used sheriff's office stationary to promote a British Virgin Islands-based company that ran an alleged investment scam. He faces the potential suspension or loss of his license as a lawyer over that matter, with a state disciplinary hearing set for Oct. 5.  Aramark also this month retained as a consultant another top ex-aide to Mr. Sheahan, John Maul. He was acting executive director of the jail until last summer.  Aramark, a division of Philadelphia-based Aramark Corp., and Canteen are giants in the food-service industry. They've clashed repeatedly around the country, including in Chicago, where U.K.-based Compass' Levy Restaurants unit has held off Aramark for the food contract at McCormick Place.  Still, Compass' Cook County letter is notable for its language and specificity.  The letter also asserts that Aramark's operating procedures are "questionable to any industry standard." For instance, "hot" meals for inmates sit on racks as long as three hours before they're delivered to be eaten, the letter alleges. "Improper storage of food was observed continually" during a site tour and "pest control issues exist," it says.  Aramark, a division of Philadelphia-based Aramark Corp., and Canteen are giants in the food-service industry. They've clashed repeatedly around the country, including in Chicago, where U.K.-based Compass' Levy Restaurants unit has held off Aramark for the food contract at McCormick Place.  Still, Compass' Cook County letter is notable for its language and specificity.  Under its current contract, Aramark provides meals at slightly more than 77 cents a serving, according to Mr. Stroger's spokeswoman. That's well under the average of $1.01 the Illinois Department of Corrections spends just to purchase food. The Compass letter implies that Aramark may have cut costs through lowered standards and deferred maintenance.  (Chicago Business, August 22, 2004)

Correctional Treatment Facility, Lucas County, Ohio
March 18, 2005 Toledo Blade
Three Lucas County work-release inmates were taken to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center Wednesday after they ate food that contained what appeared to be metal shavings. Two of the inmates were released from the hospital and returned to the facility, 1111 Madison Ave. One was kept for unrelated reasons, said Jean Atkin, county Common Pleas Court administrator. She said work-release and the Correctional Treatment Facility, 1100 Jefferson Ave., receive food from the county jail, which contracts with Aramark for food service. Treatment facility officials yesterday reported a similar problem, but they thought the pieces were aluminum foil, Ms. Atkin said. She said no one at the treatment facility ate the food, which was thrown away. Rick Keller, corrections administrator, said he did not hear of any food complaints in the jail. Ms. Atkin said a complaint was lodged with the food provider. She said the contract with Aramark is up for renewal soon and that there have been some concerns about the food service. Aramark officials could not be reached for comment.

Coshocton County Justice Center, Coshocton, Ohio
The new contract for the kitchen crew and the food they serve at the Coshocton County Justice Center comes with good news and bad news.  The two cooks at the jail, Janet Swaney and Vickie McKee, will keep their current salaries. However, the cooks will lose insurance and retirement benefits through the county, and pay twice as much for health insurance with the contracted company.  Details of the contract with Aramark were worked out with administrators at the sheriff's office and the Coshocton County Commissioners.   "We'll be making our current wages, (but) we'll be losing out on several things," she said. "If you don't have a county job, you don't have the retirement. What we've put (into our retirement), we'll get, but it won't continue."  (Coshocton Tribune, July 23, 2004)

Dallas County Jail, Dallas, Texas
October 11, 2006  The Dallas Morning News
Dallas County commissioners voted Tuesday for the first time to award a jail commissary contract, ending a tradition in which the sheriff decided who gets the lucrative deal to sell snacks and other items to more than 7,000 inmates. The roughly $34 million, five-year contract awarded to Keefe Commissary Network is expected to generate more money for the county than the existing contract. County officials who didn't like how the former sheriff handled the awarding of the existing commissary contract moved to get state law changed last year to allow commissioners to decide the commissary vendor. The new law allows the sheriff to designate commissioners to decide the contract. Sheriff Lupe Valdez didn't want to be involved because of past problems, her spokesman has said. Keefe, a St. Louis company, estimated that annual revenue to the county based on sales of snacks, pens, toiletries, playing cards and other items would be about $2.6 million, which is almost four times what the current contractor provides. That contractor, Mid-America Services, was given the contract in 2002 by then-Sheriff Jim Bowles, who was a longtime friend of the owner, Jack Madera. At the time, commissioners complained that other companies offered better financial terms. Commissioner Kenneth Mayfield cast the sole vote against the contract award, saying Aramark offered a better value to the county. He said Aramark offered a slightly higher commission rate as well as $1 million in upfront money, to be paid out each year of the contract. But Commissioner John Wiley Price said Keefe guaranteed the county at least $2 million each year. "The numbers speak for themselves," he said. Mr. Mayfield also said Keefe did not disclose to the county its involvement in a federal corruption investigation in Florida involving a prison contract until after the Justice Department issued a news release about it in July. The county's request for proposals required such a disclosure. The former head of the Florida corrections department and a prison official were charged in July with accepting more than $130,000 in kickbacks from a Keefe subcontractor over two years in connection with a 2003 prison-store contract. "There's a lot of smoke there," Mr. Mayfield said. "I find it incredulous that Keefe did not know they were under investigation in 2004 and 2005." No knowledge: Keefe's chief executive wrote in a July 31 letter to purchasing supervisor Linda Boles that the company had no knowledge of illegal activity related to the case. In a Sept. 11 letter, U.S. Attorney Paul Perez in Florida wrote that Keefe and its employees are considered witnesses in the investigation but that could change. "Nothing in this letter ... shall preclude the United States from later determining that Keefe or any of its employees are subjects or targets of this investigation," he wrote. It isn't the only controversy in which the company has been involved. In 2004, Keefe was found to have charged sales tax on some items that aren't taxable in Texas in connection with a Collin County jail commissary contract. As a result, almost 600 inmates were overcharged more than $5,000, records showed. Because of the error, the Collin County sheriff awarded the contract to a different firm.

Daniel Webster College, Nashua, New Hampshire
July 17, 2009 FOX 25
This information was supplied by law enforcement and describes recent arrests and charges. All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law. On July 16, 2009 at approximately 8:00 am, Nashua Police Department Youth Services arrested Sharon Delio, age 46, on an arrest warrant obtained from the Nashua District Court charging her with Theft By Unauthorized Taking or Transfer, Consolidation, Class A Felony. An investigation by Nashua detectives revealed that Ms. Delio had stolen approximately $40,000 from her employer, Aramark Corporation, between June 2008 and June 2009. Ms. Delio was the Assistant Food Service Director at Daniel Webster College in Nashua, a client of Aramark Corporation.

Dauphin County Prison, Dauphin, Pennsylvania
September 20, 2005 Patriot News
While Dauphin County Prison's food service vendor has agreed to reimburse the county $65,000, there was no criminal intent behind the overbilling, authorities say. The agreement reached between Philadelphia-based Aramark Corp. and the county district attorney ends a several-month grand jury investigation started last year into allegations of watered-down food and overcharging. Aramark did provide adequate food as called for in its contract with the Swatara Twp. prison, but the investigation showed the county was billed for meals that were not made, said District Attorney Edward M. Marsico Jr. The $65,000 is for overbilling that occurred in 2002 and 2003, Marsico said. The investigation was spurred by repeated inmate complaints. While there were menu changes under the current contract, Marsico said the investigation found Aramark was providing the required meal content. Aramark officials refused to discuss what went wrong on their end or what steps they've taken to make sure the problem does not reoccur

September 20, 2005 AP
Dauphin County Prison's food service vendor agreed to reimburse the county $65,000 for overbilling during 2002 and 2003, authorities said. Officials said there was no criminal intent behind the overbilling, and Philadelphia-based Aramark Corp. did provide adequate food as called for in its contract with the prison. "I'm very pleased with the amount of money we received," District Attorney Edward M. Marsico said. "I believe it more than covers any loss the county may have had." Masrisco said much of the overbilling occurred because the company had charged a flat amount for meals instead of tracking the actual ups and downs of the jail population, and he said both prison officials and the company would keeping a more careful eye on how many meals actually are provided. Aramark officials declined to discuss what went wrong what steps they were taking to prevent a recurrence. "We fully cooperated with the inquiry and consider the situation to be resolved," company spokeswoman Sarah Jarvis said.

March 19, 2004
A 16-year old Harrisburg boy escaped from a Dauphin County juvenile detetnion center, using a stock to disable a locked door and a walkie-talkie to create confusion.  The teenager, who then outran two guards, remains at large following the escape at about 1 a.m. Tuesday from the Schaffner Youth Center in Steelton.  No one was injured, according to county spokeswoman Jennifer Kocher.  The teen, who was admitted Saturday on unspecified misdemeanor charges, is not considered dangerous. His name and the nature of the charge was not released because of his age.  Two guards have been suspended without pay pending a review of the facility, which is managed by Cornell Abraxas and holds about 65 youths, Kocher said.  "We did have several unfortunate breakdowns in security," she said.  (AP)

Officials are looking into whether a food service company is cutting back on the amount of food served to prisoners. Reporter Chris Schaffer has the exclusive story. When inmates come to the Dauphin County Prison food service giant Aramark provides the food they eat. A few months ago county officials began looking into the company's books, as part of a contract renewal process. They saw documents including years of menus, instructions, and budgets. Dauphin County Commissioner Jeff Haste: "The numbers didn't quite match up - it appeared in our minds that we had been over-billed" (WHPTV February 1, 2004)

DeWitt County Jail, Cuero, Texas
May 9, 2006 The Victoria Advocate
Bookkeeping problems in the DeWitt County Jail commissary should be a thing of the past now that the supplier and office policy have changed, Sheriff Jode Zavesky told county commissioners Monday. Zavesky said he had signed a contract earlier this month with Keefe Supply Company to supply and administer the jail's commissary. "Our last supplier (Aramark) kind of left us dangling," the sheriff said. "They said we were too small an operation and they weren't coming back." Commissioner Curtis Afflerbach asked if the problems with the system that the county auditor reported at the last court's meeting would be resolved with the new company. "We hope to reconcile that the best we can prior to this new contract," Zavesky said. "We've also implemented some changes with our staff that we hope will keep us from getting into the same problems."

Dona Ana County Detention Center, Dona Ana, TX
A Sun-News investigation into allegations of impropriety within Doña Ana County government makes it clear that at least some of the accusations are true.  The allegations, including mismanagement of contracts, failure to follow county ordinances and problems related to the county’s 1999 water system bonds and the proposed county complex to be built on Motel Boulevard, are serious enough to gain the attention of State Auditor Domingo Martinez. The state auditor’s letter contains allegations that the county continued to pay for maintenance services at the Doña Ana County Detention Center after the contract expired in June 2003, and that the county manager signed a contract for $340,000 for maintenance services at the jail though he isn’t authorized to sign contracts over $10,000.  The allegations stem from the expiration of the maintenance services contract between the county and Aramark on June 30, 2003. Jail Director Al Solis gave a contract-extension document to Haines, who signed it, though it was for $340,000.  (Lcsun-news.com, April 4, 2004)

Downview Women's Prison, Banstead, UK
March 27, 2007 IC Surrey
REPLACING prison food with over-priced outside catering fare is a recipe for disaster in a women's jail. This is the opinion of prison visitors whose latest report says inmates much preferred 'porridge' the way it is. Aramark, the company which has taken over the canteen at Downview Women's Prison, is typical of the caterers who have taken over the food at many jails. And the report by the Independent Monitoring Board claims the new system is not being welcomed anywhere. The report says: "We were warned in advance by other independent monitoring boards who had experienced a similar change to expect a disastrous transfer - and it has been. "The decision to privatise the canteen may bring cash benefit to the Treasury but the introduction of Aramark to run the prison canteen has so far been a disaster. "For prisoners the canteen is one of the most important facets of their lives but prices have risen sharply,the inventory has shrunk, revisions take ages to implement and the administration is poor. "In contrast the old prison-run canteen at least understood the needs of the prisoners and charged prices that matched their wages. "It worked and this seems to be the same story repeated throughout as prison after prison has lost control of its canteens." In a report which praises "committed and dedicated" staff, the board said all the faults it found with Downview were beyond their control.

Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
January 19, 2006 The Chronicle
Duke Student Government kicked off its first meeting of the spring semester with an eye toward the future Wednesday night. During the meeting, DSG discussed the upcoming confidence-no confidence vote on ARAMARK, Corp.—the Philadelphia-based company that operates a number of eateries on campus. Every year, DSG votes on whether or not it has confidence in the current dining service. The decision is ultimately brought before the Board of Trustees, which has the final say in whether or not to renew the company’s contract. For the past two years ARAMARK, which operates the Great Hall, the Marketplace, Trinity Café, Subway and Chick-Fil-A, has received a “no confidence” vote from Duke University Student Dining Advisory Committee and DSG. The vendor has nonetheless remained on campus. Senior Paige Sparkman, vice president of student affairs, said the upcoming vote is “extremely important” because ARAMARK’s five-year contract is up at the end of this year. “There can be a more drastic result of the confidence-no confidence vote this year,” said DSG President Jesse Longoria, a senior.

DuPage County Jail, DuPage County, Illinois
January 13, 2010 Daily Herald
Debra Olson painted a giant target on her back in the shape of a dollar sign when she announced she'd hold herself to a higher campaign finance standard in her bid to win the Republican nod in the DuPage County Board Chairman's race. The District 4 board member said she won't accept money from people or companies that do business with the county when she announced her candidacy. Since then, two of her opponents and their supporters have attacked Olson, complaining she was "hypocritical" about campaign finance reform and that she lined her war chest with ill-gotten dollars before taking the campaign-funding high road. Olson denies any wrongdoing and blasted state Sen. Dan Cronin and state Sen. Carole Pankau for the accusations. "They can't win on the issues so they go for a smear campaign," Olson, who is a current District 4 board member said. Both state senators attacked Olson for accepting campaign donations from food vendor Aramark while voting in 2007 and 2008 on a $1 million contract to provide meals at the county jail for a year. The contract eventually went to Minnesota-based A'viands Food & Services Management. "I voted consistently for A'viands and gave donations back to Aramark," Olson said. Cronin's camp also said they tallied more than $20,000 worth of campaign donations from companies or people that do business with the county in Olson's coffers over the years, including donations as late as May, 2009.

September 24, 2008 Naperville Sun
Inmates of the DuPage County Jail finally have permanent food service after 18 months of wrangling by competing companies ARAMARK and A'viands. A'Viands was issued a $792,585.92 contract on Tuesday by the DuPage County Board to provide meals to inmates and officers from Oct. 23 to Oct. 22, 2009. The company emerged as the lowest responsible bidder after the contract was sent out for a fourth bid. It's been vying for the contract ever since March 2007, when the first bid was thrown out because of accusations by ARAMARK that A'viands' winning menu did not meet requirements. A'viands has been serving meals at the jail throughout the bidding process, under temporary contracts approved by a county committee. Before that, ARAMARK had fed the inmates for 21 years.

August 22, 2008 Naperville Sun
Inmates of the DuPage County Jail may finally have permanent food service after 18 months of wrangling by competing companies ARAMARK and A'viands. For a fourth time, the companies are bidding for a yearlong contract to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner at the jail. They've been vying for the contract ever since March 2007, when the first bid was awarded to A'viands and thrown out because of accusations by ARAMARK that the winning menu did not meet requirements. Along with another company officials declined to name, both ARAMARK and A'viands agreed Monday to bid on two menus approved by a professional nutritionist. All three companies have until the first week of September to submit prices on one or both of the menus and the lowest bidder will be chosen.

May 29, 2008 Reporter Met
For the fourth time in about a year, the DuPage County Board has extended a temporary contract for food service at the county jail. After Tuesday’s County Board meeting, Chairman Robert Schillerstrom expressed frustration that the process has dragged on for so long. But board member Michael McMahon, R-3rd District, of Hinsdale, who heads the board’s Judicial and Public Safety Committee, said the county should be able to award a long-term contract by the end of June. By the numbers -- $850,000 Annual cost of original contract -- $1.3 million Approximate cost of temporary contracts -- 53 percent increase The board decided in February to open a fourth round of bidding for the food-service contract and extended the temporary contract through May 31. The new extension runs through Aug. 31, but McMahon said the matter should be settled well before then. A’viands, a Minnesota-based company, has been serving food at the jail under a temporary contract since last June. The contract has been under dispute since May 2007, when it was put out for bidding. A’viands was originally awarded the contract, but it was voided after another bidder, Philadelphia-based ARAMARK, objected that A’viands’ bid did not meet nutritional requirements. The original contract with A’viands would have cost the county about $850,000 for a year of food service. The new temporary contract will total about $1.3 million if a long-term deal is not reached before Aug. 31. “Simply put, the County Board can’t make up their mind on (the contract),” Schillerstrom said. “It should have been done a long time ago. There’s no reason for this to have dragged on for so long.” After a second round of bidding, bids by both companies were thrown out because they failed to meet nutritional requirements. For the third round, the county hired a nutritionist to create a menu with which all bidders were required to comply. ARAMARK’s bid of 91.9 cents per meal was slightly lower than A’viands’ bid of 92.5 cents, but county staff members recommended the contract be awarded to A’viands because ARAMARK strayed from the menu, county officials said. To avoid the confusion over nutritional requirements, the county is taking a new approach for the fourth round of bidding, McMahon said. Rather than requiring bidders to conform to a set menu, each company will be allowed to submit up to three menus, he said. A dietitian hired by the county will then review each menu and determine if it meets nutritional standards. The companies will then be allowed to bid on any of the approved menus, including those submitted by their competitors, and the contract will be awarded to the lowest bidder, McMahon said. “I think this is going to prove to be a good approach,” he said. “It should all be over within the next month.”

May 8, 2008 Naperville Sun
Maybe DuPage County Board members got it right the first time they opened competition for a contract to serve food to some 850 County Jail inmates. They approved a fourth round of bidding Tuesday that is almost identical to the original bid more than a year ago. While board members hope this bid will end a long feud between companies Aramark and A'viands over the contract, some say it will lead to even more contention. This time, bidding companies may submit up to three menus to the county, which will then be either approved or rejected by a certified nutritionist. The bidders may then submit prices on any of the approved menus and the lowest bidder will be chosen. The Judicial and Public Safety Committee has conducted and thrown out three bids during the past year. As members tried adding more specific nutrition requirements and then specific menu requirements, Aramark and A'viands either failed to meet standards or raised objections to each other. But committee member Jim Healy of Naperville said allowing bidders to select from a pool of approved menus may just lead to more conflict. "Then you have two parties arguing about fish cakes versus fish patties, orange juice versus orange drink," Healy said. But the county could save money by allowing bidders to select from a pool of approved menus, said DuPage CFO Fred Backfield. "(This) allows a vendor to choose another menu they could make cheaper," Backfield said. As the bidding process drags on, A'viands continues to feed inmates under an extended temporary contract that was first awarded last July. Before that contract, Aramark had serviced the jail for 21 years.

February 24, 2008 Naperville Sun
A company hoping to win another contract at the DuPage County Jail has donated thousands of dollars to elected county officials. Aramark, a Philadelphia-based company that has provided the jail's food service for 21 years, has poured $14,770 into campaign coffers of State's Attorney Joe Birkett, Sheriff John Zaruba, County Board Chairman Bob Schillerstrom and others since 1999, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections. County Board members Brien Sheahan, Debra Olson and Mike McMahon have received several hundred dollars each. In a bidding process fraught with ambiguity and conflict, Aramark has been fighting for more than a year to continue serving food to jail inmates. When the bid was redone for the third time in December, the company submitted a $949,616 bid that was $6,000 lower than that of its competitor, Minnesota-based A'viands. But after the state's attorney's office said Aramark submitted a menu that didn't meet requirements, officials recommended the bid be awarded to A'viands. Aramark's menu diverged slightly by offering breaded fish patties rather than the specified fish fillets and 12-ounce instead of 8-ounce oatmeal servings, Assistant State's Attorney Tom Downing said. Potential savings -- However, County Board members are giving Aramark another shot at the contract, opting for a fourth bid instead of awarding the contract to A'viands. They say the county can save thousands of dollars by changing bidding requirements. Instead of stipulating a specific menu, board members want to mandate only certain nutritional requirements, as was done during the second round of bidding. Allowing bidders to submit their own menu resulted in a bid from Aramark that was $120,000 less than when it followed a menu mandated by the county. That cost difference is enough to justify yet another bid, said Sheahan, calling the whole process "ridiculous." "We're basically having a $120,000 argument over whether milk and oatmeal will fit on a tray, and I think we owe it to taxpayers to make sure we are getting the best value for their money," he said. "We're not interested in spending extra every year so people at the County Jail can eat fish fillets instead of fish sticks." Nothing to hide -- Sheahan said a $500 contribution from Aramark to his primary campaign had nothing to do with his support for a fourth bid. "I really don't care whether Aramark gets it or not," he said. "I want the lowest bid to get it. I think the interest of the committee is just to get the best value for taxpayers." Saying she believes Aramark has submitted responsible bids, Olson, of Wheaton, said she supports a fourth bid to potentially save the $120,000. "This is about saving taxpayers money," said Olson, who noted that she has supported extending the temporary contracts to A'viands. "Any implications that my motivations are other than in the best interests of taxpayers is insulting." Birkett, who has received $3,600 from Aramark, said the campaign contributions played no role in the opinion rendered by his office, which ruled Aramark's bid noncompliant. "If I'm asked for opinion or legal guidance, I give it, free from any political support I've received," Birkett said. The recipient of $4,500 from Aramark, Schillerstrom sided with the state's attorney, saying Aramark failed to meet the menu requirements. "I believe A'viands is the lowest responsible bidder," he said. "I think it's clear that Aramark did not comply with the bid." Zaruba did not return a phone call seeking comment. Nutrition requirements -- Disputes about nutrition requirements have plagued the bidding process, which began last March. After the county declared A'viands the winner of the first bid, Aramark filed a lawsuit claiming its submitted menus were deficient. Schillerstrom upheld the protest, finding that both companies failed to meet requirements and declared a second round of bidding. For the second bid, the county outlined more specific nutrition standards. But both companies fell short, saying it was impossible to meet sodium requirements. In the third bid, the county hired a nutritionist to create a specific menu. While A'viands said the menu gave clear and specific requirements, Aramark disagreed. "It was crystal clear to us that we were to submit a menu that exactly met those requirements, and that's what we did," said Perry Rynders, CEO of A'viands. Rynders expressed "significant disappointment" at the county's decision to hold another bid, saying no one had disputed that A'viands did meet requirements. Temporary contract -- To keep prison inmates fed, the county has issued a string of temporary contracts to A'viands since July. But it's difficult to attract and hire good workers at the jail while the contract remains in limbo, Rynders said. "It's very difficult for us to find staff to work on a temporary basis," he said. "Each time this comes up, they're wondering if their job is on the line. I don't think the County Board understands how difficult this is on us." Aramark spokesman Tim Elliot said the county should return to a nutrition-based bid instead of one based on a menu. That is standard procedure for most of the 700 correctional facilities the company services worldwide, he said. Aramark is a private company that is the 19th-largest employer on the Fortune 500, employing 240,000 workers in 19 countries. Hospitals, eldercare centers, schools, corporations and sports stadiums are among the company's clients. Board member Jim Healy of Naperville agreed with Aramark that the county's "ambiguous" menu should be thrown out in favor of nutritional requirements. "We don't care what you serve as long as you meet the nutritional standards," he said. The county should have stuck with very basic nutritional requirements as it had done until last year, said board member Jim Zay. "This is insane ... the more people we get involved, the worse it gets," Zay said. "This has been costing us hundreds of thousands more because we've been screwing around with it."

Durham County, Durham, North Carolina
September 13, 2005 The Herald-Sun
A report from the county finance office shows that more than half the contractors required to comply with Durham's "living wage" policy have failed to submit payroll records that would show whether they're doing so. The report, forwarded recently to County Manager Mike Ruffin, also alleges that three contractors violated the policy by paying workers less than the required minimum salary, which now stands at $10 an hour. The others on the list are: -- The Aramark Corp., which had two contracts worth $33,429 from the county General Services Department and the Sheriff's Office. -- Carter Goble Associates Inc., which had a $17,000 contract to provide staff to the county jail.

East Baton Rouge Parish Schools, East Baton Rouge, Louisiana
March 19, 2009 The Advocate
A school janitor was arrested in what investigators believe is a crime ring in the thefts of purses, wallets and cell phones from employees at nine public schools in Ascension and East Baton Rouge parishes. Detectives with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested Marnia Marie Parks on Tuesday in the incidents at six schools in the East Baton Rouge Parish school system, said Casey Rayborn Hicks, a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman. Parks, 20, of 6248 Calion Drive, was booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on seven counts of simple burglary, three counts of attempted theft and six counts of unauthorized use of an access (or credit) card. It is unclear whether Parks was also involved in the burglaries of two schools in the Zachary school system and one in Ascension Parish, Hicks said, adding there is a “definite possibility” the cases are linked. Parks worked for Jani-Care, a commercial cleaning company the East Baton Rouge school system uses for janitorial services, when the burglaries and thefts occurred earlier this month at the schools in the district, Hicks said. Detectives believe Parks had at least three accomplices and that she helped those accomplices gain access to the schools through her job, Hicks said. An arrest warrant has been issued for Tronette Leshae Leonard, 19, 803 Peach St. The other two accomplices, one of whom was caught on surveillance video, have yet to be identified, Hicks said. Chris Trahan, a spokesman with the East Baton Rouge school system, said the school system has a contract with Aramark for its janitorial services and that Aramark subcontracts with Jani-Care.

February 23, 2004
The East Baton Rouge Parish school system is holding a series of informational meetings this week to explain to more than 400 custodians, maintenance, groundskeeping and warehouse workers what will happen now that their jobs are in the hands of ARAMARK Inc.    The School Board voted Thursday to approve a $22.5 million contract with ARAMARK, which employs about 216,000 people throughout the world, and it is already taking effect.  The school system has set up an automated 24-hour information line -- 225-226-3794 -- outlining meeting times, and has posted similar information on a link on its Web site, http://www.ebrschools.org. The Web site also has a four-page application for employment with ARAMARK.  This information was also provided in a letter issued Friday to school system employees.  "It is with regret that I must information you are scheduled for separation," said the letter signed by Elizabeth Duran Swinford, associate superintendent for human resources, and Annette Mire, director of personnel services.  ARAMARK and the school system's Human Resource Department are holding separate meetings.  ARAMARK's meetings, to be held in the physical plant training room, 2875 Michelli Drive, will be from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. today and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday. Employees will meet with ARAMARK representatives in groups in order of where their last names fall in the alphabet. An optional meeting will also be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday.  ARAMARK will follow up with interviews from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday with potential employees. Those meetings will be held at the Instructional Resource Center, 1022 S. Foster Drive. Representatives from ARAMARK, the Louisiana Department of Labor, LSU and Baton Rouge Community College will also be on hand.  The Human Resources Department is holding meetings of its own for employees A-L from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Thursday and for employees M-Z from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Friday. These meetings will focus on questions about payroll, benefits, retirement issues and job-transition options. These meetings will also take place in the Instructional Resource Center.  ARAMARK has yet to lay out what it will pay privatized workers, except to say it will pay "prevailing market wages." Employee organizations that have opposed the deal say already low-paid support workers will inevitably have to take a pay cut. The contract signed by the school system also does not guarantee their employment with ARAMARK.  (Advocate)

East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina
March 10, 2005 The East Carolinian
An ARAMARK cashier working on campus was arrested when found with two financial cards belonging to members of the ECU community. Police said Lawanda Patrice Draughn, 22, worked at Java City in Wright Place when she allegedly kept credit cards from two of her customers. "The two individuals went to Java City and purchased coffee ... and then they walked away without their cards," said Major Frank Knight with the ECU Police Department. Once the victims realized they did not have their cards, they called the credit card company. The company representatives told them purchases had been made since the cards were lost. More than $200 was spent on one card and more than $1,000 on the other. ECU Police went to the stores where the cards were used, spoke with cashiers and viewed store videotapes. "It was good leg work by the police officers," Knight said.

Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex, West Liberty, Kentucky
June 3, 2011 Herald-Leader
An inmate at Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex at West Liberty found a dead mouse in his soup May 1, leading to an investigation by corrections officials, according to state prison incident reports. State Rep. Brent Yonts, D-Greenville, characterized the incident as the latest problem with Philadelphia-based Aramark Correctional Services, which has a $12 million contract with the state to provide prison food. "It indicates what I call malpractice of their job," Yonts said. But Aramark spokeswoman Sarah Jarvis said the company provides good service to the state. "We have strong quality-assurance processes that ensure the high quality and safety of the meals we serve, and this has been consistently verified by the high scores we receive on independent county and industry health inspections," Jarvis said in a statement. Those inspection scores average close to 100 percent, she said. The incident occurred about 11 a.m. May 1, according to prison reports. In a written grievance, inmate Christopher Branum said that after eating some of his soup, he saw "what appeared to be a mouse leg." "I touched it with my spork (a combination spoon and fork), and it was a cooked mouse," Branum said in the grievance. Corrections officer Ronald Cantrell wrote in a report that Branum called for him and showed him the mouse 30 to 45 seconds after Cantrell served Branum lunch in his cell. "The mouse was saturated as though it had been in the soup for some time or cooked in it. The soup was still lukewarm," Corrections Capt. Paul Fugate wrote in a report. Branum, who is serving a 10-year sentence for first-degree robbery, received the prison incident documents through an open records request, said Wade McNabb, a paralegal for Spedding Law Office in Lexington. Branum gave McNabb permission to share the documents with the Herald-Leader. The prison report on the incident included a photograph of the mouse. All of the soup made that day was thrown out, and the inmates were served other food, according to the incident report compiled by Fugate. Aramark food service director Jody Sammons, in a May 12 memo, said Sammons had conducted an investigation, and "it appears the mouse was isolated to the bowl of soup in which it was found." "It was not likely that a mouse was cooked in that batch of soup," Sammons' memo said. Some inmates were immediately concerned that they would be sick after eating the soup, and they were seen by medical personnel, an incident report said. Prison medical officials also contacted a Department of Corrections physician within an hour. The physician said "the mouse would not make them sick this soon," according to the incident report. Jennifer Brislin, a spokeswoman for the Justice & Public Safety Cabinet said the staff addressed the problem immediately. "The product was pulled and discarded, and an alternative served. Medical services were made available to all inmates. After those initial actions, Warden (Gary) Beckstrom took steps to increase pest control and monitor sanitation to ensure there is no reoccurrence of this event," Brislin said. Yonts said he would be contacting corrections officials Friday to see what action they have taken. In January, Yonts asked Attorney General Jack Conway to investigate possible Aramark violations of its contract. Yonts, D-Greenville, said Aramark violated the contract last year by refusing to provide cost-related records to state auditors conducting an investigation of Aramark's contract to provide food service to inmates at Kentucky's 13 prisons. In a Feb. 10 letter to Yonts, obtained by the Herald-Leader through the state's Open Records Law, Conway said that the Finance and Administration Cabinet found that Aramark was not in breach of the contract and that Conway saw no need for a separate investigation. But Conway and state Auditor Crit Luallen want a state regulation changed to clarify that state officials — not the contractor — should determine which records are pertinent, Allison Martin, a spokeswoman for Conway, said Thursday.

Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky
April 9, 2009 Register News
A Madison County grand jury reinstated an arson charge Thursday against a former Eastern Kentucky University food service worker accused of starting a January fire in the Powell Building. James Reynolds, 26, of Richmond, had initially been charged with third-degree arson, first-degree wanton endangerment and first-degree criminal mischief for allegedly starting a fire Jan. 22 in a trash storage room near the loading dock of the building on the university’s campus. Madison County Attorney Marc Robbins dismissed the arson charge prior to Reynolds waiving a preliminary hearing March 4 on the other felony charges, but the grand jury chose to indict Reynolds on a single charge of first-degree arson. Robbins said the dismissal was because the facts of the case were “just as consistent” with the endangerment and mischief charges as the arson charge. The first-degree arson charge is a Class A felony punishable by 20 to 50 years in prison if convicted. Reynolds originally had faced at total of up to 10 years on the endangerment and mischief charges. Reynolds, who was employed by Aramark, is accused of starting a fire in a storage room that ignited a large stack of cardboard boxes, filling the building with heavy smoke and damaging the loading dock. He is not suspected in a string of October fires on campus that remain unsolved, according to university officials.

March 5, 2009 Register News
An arson charge was dropped Wednesday against a Richmond man who was arrested in connection with a fire at Eastern Kentucky University. James Reynolds, 25, waived his right to a preliminary hearing, sending first-degree wanton endangerment and first-degree criminal mischief charges to a Madison County grand jury for possible indictment. Reynolds and his attorney, Jimmy Dale Williams, appeared briefly before Senior Judge David Hayse, who was on the bench for Madison District Judge Brandy O. Brown, to waive the hearing. Reynolds was arrested Feb. 2 and charged with starting a fire Jan. 22 in a trash storage area in the Powell Building that ignited a large stack of cardboard boxes, filling the building with heavy smoke and damaging portions of the loading dock. Firefighters searched the building, which was not damaged, to ensure it was empty after the fire. Reynolds was working for Aramark, a company which provides food service to the university, at the time of the fire. Madison County Attorney Marc Robbins dismissed the arson charge, saying the facts of the case were “just as consistent” with endangerment and mischief charges as the arson charge.

February 12, 2009 Register News
Madison District Judge Brandy O. Brown continued a preliminary hearing Wednesday in the case of a man charged with arson for a fire at Eastern Kentucky University. The continuance was requested by Madison County Attorney Marc Robbins to allow investigators to complete their reports before James Reynolds’s case is heard. Reynolds is charged with third-degree arson, first-degree wanton endangerment and first-degree criminal mischief for allegedly setting a Jan. 22 fire at the Powell Building on EKU’s campus. The fire, in a trash storage area near the building’s loading dock, filled the building with smoke and caused damage to the loading dock, but no one was injured. Investigators believe the blaze started when cardboard boxes in the room caught fire. Richmond Fire Department crews were able to extinguish the blaze within minutes of arriving on scene. Reynolds was an employee of Aramark, which provides food-service and other services to the university. Marc Whitt, associate vice president of public relations and marketing for the university, said he was unsure if Reynolds was still employed by Aramark because they were a contractor for the school. Several suspicious fires on EKU’s campus last October went unsolved, but Whitt said after Reynolds’s arrest that EKU police do not believe he was connected to those fires. “This appears to be an isolated incident,” Whitt said earlier this month.

February 5, 2009 Richmond Register
An employee of Aramark, the food service company that serves Eastern Kentucky University, was arraigned Wednesday in Madison District Court on several charges relating to a fire last month on the university’s campus. James Reynolds, 25, of Richmond, who was arrested Monday, was arraigned on third-degree arson, first-degree wanton endangerment and first-degree criminal mischief charges in connection with a Jan. 22 fire in the Powell Building, said Marc Whitt, EKU associate vice president of public relations and marketing. The fire started in a trash storage area near the building’s loading dock. According to Richmond Fire Department public information officer Corey Lewis, cardboard boxes stored in the room caught fire, filling the building with heavy black smoke and causing damage to parts of the loading dock area. Investigators with the state fire marshal’s office worked with Richmond firefighters to determine the cause of the fire, and interviewed several people who were near the building at the time of the fire for more information. Whitt said that an investigation by EKU police does not indicate Reynolds was involved in a series of unsolved arsons in October on the university’s campus.

El Paso County, Colorado
August 11, 2005 Colorado Springs Independent
Deputies at the El Paso County jail are in a food fight of sorts and giving inmates the bird. A Sheriff's Office press release of Aug. 3, defending the jail's meals in the wake of a brief hunger strike by inmates, is the latest development in what has become a jail food saga. The release says that on July 30 inmates were served turkey for a fifth consecutive meal, despite protests, and it promises more turkey is to come. The episode comes as the Sheriff's Office faces numerous internal complaints and at least 10 lawsuits filed by disgruntled inmates over jail food. One suit, filed by former inmate Mark Compton, describes the jail fare as substandard. He alleges that each meal was cut back by 25 percent as of March, and that some inmates have reacted by eating scraps from the trash, begging or intimidating fellow inmates for food. Yet complaint forms attached to Compton's lawsuit raise doubts about food quality. Inmate Darius Pinkney wrote that some peaches served in June were "four different colors (i.e. black, green, red and orange). "Some were mushy, some were rock hard," he wrote. "They were in my opinion not fit for human consumption." Other inmates complained about the peaches, too, but were instructed by a deputy not to consume them. "In your handbook, it states to eat around anything not to your liking," the deputy wrote in the official complaint form. Michael Holmes, another inmate, accuses Sheriff Terry Maketa of standing idly by as the jail's food contractor, Aramark Correctional Services, shirks its responsibilities by serving "unhealthy disease causing garbage." Former inmate Mark Compton claims portion sizes at the El Paso County jail were cut by 25 percent per meal.

July 18, 2005 The Gazette
Spoiled milk, rotten fruit and watered-down soup that tastes like dishwater.  Those are some of the items on recent menus at the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center, according to inmates who are suing the jail, Sheriff Terry Maketa and the jail’s food-service contractor, Aramark Corp.  Nineteen inmates have filed separate lawsuits since June, claiming the sheriff and jail are violating a state law that requires jails to provide “good and sufficient” food to prisoners.  Since mid-March, food portions and quality have decreased to 25 percent of what they were, according to the inmates’ suits filed in 4th Judicial District Court. Inmates claim they’ve been ignored or harassed when they complained to jail officials about the food.  Some of the suits say Aramark, Maketa and the jail are “endangering the health and safety of approximately 1,300 seemingly innocent prisoners at this facility three times daily, seven days a week.”  Inmates are being forced to eat scraps out of trash cans or beg for other inmates’ food, the suits say. Stronger inmates have resorted to taking food from weaker ones, according to the suits.

Essex County Jail, Essex County, New Jersey
July 18, 2010 The Star-Ledger
Aramark is the giant of America’s food-service industry, topping Fortune’s list of the "World’s Most Admired Companies." So when Aramark, whose menu runs the gamut from lobster rolls at Boston’s Fenway Park to meals for most of New Jersey’s county inmates, came up short on a $12 million contract, it flexed its legal muscle. In a tug-of-war featuring a debate over pennies per meal and highlighting a criminal case against a competitor’s food-service executive, the Philadelphia giant fought a court ruling giving New Jersey competitor Gourmet Dining the very Essex County jail contract Aramark snatched from Gourmet in 2004. Then it relented. The 4-inch thick stack of legal briefs and exhibits is now closed. But the legal battle — brief as it was — offers insights into the clash of a food-service titan and its smaller competitor in the sometimes murky world of competitive bidding. On one hand, Aramark Correctional Services bid $1.32 a meal for each inmate, technically making it the lowest bidder. On the other, Gourmet Dining bid $1.42, technically losing. But Essex County rejected Aramark, saying its per-meal pricing wasn’t really "firm," as required by the bid specifications, and threw open the bidding anew — an action Gourmet says was a "thinly veiled attempt" to give Aramark time to fix its defective bid. On April 1, Madison-based Gourmet sued, making references to Aramark’s "monopoly" and asserting that its bid would actually save Essex $1.16 million over 3 years. Aramark countered, saying Gourmet was not a "responsible bidder" since the man it would put in charge of meals at the Essex County Correctional Facility had been fired by Aramark for embezzling funds. "It’s a good old-fashioned game of chicken," Professor Larry Bennett of the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University said of the legal punches and counter-punches. It’s the second time the food-service competitors have squared off in a New Jersey courtroom. Just 16 months ago, Gourmet Dining won a ruling in Monmouth County, snatching a contract initially awarded to Aramark for that county’s inmates. "We’re pretty happy with it," Savino Russoniello Jr., the West Orange attorney representing Gourmet Dining, said of the latest outcome. "The county is going to be saving money with the new contract. The taxpayers are the winners here." That’s not the way Aramark sees it. "Our proposal would have provided the county with $800,000 in savings over the term of the contract compared with the selected bid," said Sarah Jarvis, an Aramark spokeswoman. But Aramark, which held Essex County’s contract from 2004 til now, wasn’t burning any bridges. "We delivered outstanding service to Essex County over the past seven years and hope we have the opportunity to do so again," she said. To James Paganelli, Essex County’s chief county counsel, the truth lies somewhere in the great divide. "They’re both going to give you a competing analysis," he said. Gourmet Dining’s legal complaint was just that, and a painstaking one. Gourmet, whose $40 million a year in revenues includes serving means to undergrads at Seton Hall University and executives at Hertz, asserted that Aramark was able to push up the price it charges for an inmate meal in Essex by 49 percent from March 2004 to May 2009. That was, in part, the basis for its argument that Aramark’s latest bid was not based on a "firm price" as required by the bid specifications, according to the lawsuit. On Feb. 18, Gourmet Dining protested in a letter to Essex County. Less than a month later, Essex rejected Aramark’s bid on the basis that it did not submit a "firm quote" and sent a memorandum of agreement to Gourmet Dining. But on March 26, the county instead rejected all bids and opted to rebid, altering the terms, noting "confusing and misleading" bid wording that created "uncertainty," and adding a provision disqualifying any bidder on the basis of a key executive’s criminal record. On June 23, in a 5-page opinion, Superior Court Judge Claude Coleman, sitting in Newark, rejected Essex’s decision to reopen the bids and ordered the county to award the contract to Gourmet. "Rejecting all bids was improper, without sound reasons, and was an abuse of discretion," Coleman ruled. "Aramark’s bid was not in compliance with the bid specifications." As for the former Aramark employee about to handle Gourmet Dining’s Essex contract, he pled guilty of theft by deception, was sentenced to probation and ordered to attend Gamblers Anonymous, according to court papers. Paganelli, the county counsel, said he listened to the judge’s advice on that issue. "Judge Coleman said, ‘You have the right to pick whoever that leader is going to be. Just tell them that person is not acceptable to you, and they’ll get you another person." Did Essex follow through? Paganelli was succinct. "Yep," he said.

Evanston Hospital, Evanston, Illinois
July 7, 2010 Evanston-Review
An on-site food services worker is charging that her employers, Evanston Hospital and Aramark Services, allowed co-workers to repeatedly harass and discriminate her despite her pleas to management for help. In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, Yaffa Washington, a member of a Hebrew Israelite sect who was born in Israel, said she was hired by Evanston Hospital in 2004 and soon thereafter began working for Aramark Services, on location at the hospital, 2650 Ridge Ave. Washington, an African-American, charges in her lawsuit that she was subjected to offensive racist and and anti-Semitic slurs, including references to her as the “Jew Girl,” soon after after she began working for Aramark. The lawsuit alleges that soon after informing Aramark officials that she was contemplating filing an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charge if the harassment didn't stop – in what her lawsuit describes as “unlawful retaliation against her for engaging in legally protected activity” – Washington was fired. Aramark could not be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon. A spokeswoman for the hospital said Wednesday that the hospital had not been served notice of such a lawsuit and so could not comment.

Fairfax Connector, Fairfax, Virginia
July 9, 2008 Washington Post
Fares for the Fairfax Connector bus come in $1 at a time, and that's how they left, police said. There was an elaborate system to thwart bus-fare bandits. Somehow, police said, a night-shift worker found a way to open the fare boxes and make off with plastic bags full of $1 bills. A lot of $1 bills. Fairfax County officials said $200,000 to $300,000 was taken from Fairfax Connector cash boxes in the thefts, which started last year. Fairfax police put the total at $326,000. Thong Khoune Sisaath of Sterling, who cleaned and fueled buses at the Herndon depot and handled cash boxes, was arrested July 2 and charged with grand larceny and possession of burglary tools in the case, according to police and court documents. A Fairfax man was also arrested. An investigation is continuing, police said. The cash boxes on Fairfax Connector's 197 buses have electronic safeguards. The boxes are scanned before they are removed to provide a record of how much money the boxes hold. The locked boxes are placed in a vault, where the cash is put into containers. The containers are closed by a self-sealing mechanism and are collected the next day by an armored-car service, said Rollo Axton, Fairfax's chief of transit services. Police said Sisaath found a way around the security measures. "Anytime you get the human factor and greed, you have the possibility of somebody trying to steal," said Kathy Ichter, director of the Fairfax County Department of Transportation. Police said Sisaath would bypass the usual area where cash boxes were scanned and emptied. Instead, she would take the buses to another area at the Herndon depot and use a key to unlock the cash boxes. She would fill the bags with the money and drop the bags, along with the contents of her pockets, into her car, police said. "As she did this she looked around in a suspicious manner attempting to insure she was not observed," according to court documents. Fairfax officials said the county did not lose money because of a contract provision with the private firm that runs the buses guaranteeing that the county receives the amount recorded when the cash boxes are scanned. "The county will not end up absorbing any of the losses on this," said Mike Setzer, vice president of Veolia Transportation in Oak Brook, Ill. Fairfax transportation officials first noticed a problem last fall. The scanned totals from the cash boxes stopped matching the totals on the bank deposits. According to industry standards, the two figures should be within 1 percent of each other, Axton said. "We were getting anywhere from 20 to 30 percent on some days, and that obviously raised the red flag," Axton said. The installation of SmarTrip card readers, which allow cash-less travel, throughout the Fairfax Connector system starting last year made it hard to tell if the discrepancy was a problem with the new technology or a sign of theft, officials said. Audits were begun. On nights when supervisors were present, the cash discrepancy disappeared. When supervisors were not at the depot, money was missing, officials said. Many questions remain, Setzer said, among them: "who got the key and how they got the key and how the system allowed that to happen." A Veolia employee also was arrested in connection with the thefts, according to court documents and police. Carl Rich of Fairfax was arrested July 3 and charged with embezzlement, possession of burglary tools, and conspiracy to commit grand larceny. Setzer said he did not have information on Rich's status. "Some of the people who are involved in this are relatively low-ranking people who shouldn't have had access to any kind of key, so we're still a little puzzled as to how that happened," Setzer said. "Someone else had to help them get access to the key, whether that's our person or someone else." Sisaath worked for a subcontractor, Aramark, which provides staffing for prisons, jails, airports and other sensitive jobs. Sisaath no longer works for the firm, company spokeswoman Sarah Jarvis said. "The behavior you've described is unacceptable and is not tolerated by this company," Jarvis said.

Fairfax County Adult Detention Facility, Fairfax, Virginia
July 25, 2007 The Examiner
Fairfax County Sheriff Stan Barry accepted $1,000 in food for a campaign event from a company the county pays to feed its inmates – a contribution one state senator blasted as an attempt to “buy friendship” from the sheriff. Barry, a Democrat who is unopposed in the November election, denied any impropriety in accepting the donation from Aramark Corp. at a Fairfax City fundraiser on June 7. State Sen. Ken Cuccinelli, however, on Tuesday called the contribution a “cause for cynicism.” “They’re giving him money because their gravy train depends on his position to continue their food contract,” said Cuccinelli, R-Fairfax. “They’re just trying to buy friendship.” The Philadelphia-based company provides food, uniforms and other services to scores of institutions throughout the country, and won a two-year contract in July 2006 to feed inmates and staff of the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. The Sheriff’s Office operates the facility. Exactly how much the county has paid to Aramark since the company started providing meals Sept. 1 was not available Tuesday. Based on estimates in the county’s budget, the company served 1.47 million meals in fiscal 2007, an average of 4,050 a day costing about $1 each. Aramark was the only company to bid on the jail food-service contract, according to Cathy Muse, director of the Department of Purchasing and Supply Management, which oversees the county’s contracting. The Sheriff’s Office reviewed the bid and recommended the county approve it, after which Muse signed off on the contract. Barry said he had no input in that process. “If I was overseeing the contract or [was] instrumental in who got the contract, then I can see where there would be conflict,” he said. “But I’m not involved in those negotiations at all.” He said the fundraiser took place before it was clear no opponents would emerge in the election. The food, he said, included Swedish meatballs, lunch meat and chicken wings. An Aramark spokeswoman said she was unable to find details of the donation by early Tuesday evening and otherwise declined comment.

Fayette County Detention Center, Lexington, Kentucky
October 5, 2007 Lexington Herald-Leader
An Aramark employee who works at the Fayette County Detention Center is suspected of illegally bringing drugs and cigarettes into the jail. Melda Janae Coffman, 32, was charged yesterday with promoting contraband in the first and second degree, said Capt. Darin Kelly, jail spokesman. The first-degree charge was for illegally bringing in drugs. It is a Class D felony offense that can carry a sentence of at least one year in jail. The second-degree charge for illegally bringing in cigarettes is a class A misdemeanor with a minimum sentence of 90 days in jail. After her arrest, Coffman was fired, said Sarah Jarvis, Aramark spokeswoman. Coffman, who oversaw food preparation at the jail's kitchen, began working there on July 19. Kelly said additional charges could be coming.

Florida Department of Corrections
February 9, 2009 St Petersburg Times
Three times a day, the inmates at Madison Correctional Institution discover what a budget deficit tastes like. The scene in the prison chow hall in this quaint North Florida town is repeated across the state as it returns to in-house food service and struggles to cut costs. While the inmate population is growing, the Legislature is cutting spending in the nation's third-largest state prison system. Florida is now coping with the effects of a failed and expensive food-privatization venture of former Gov. Jeb Bush. In 2001, Florida turned over most prison food operations to Aramark Corp., even after Ohio had scrapped a similar experiment with bad results. After seven years marked by numerous irregularities, fines for sloppy service and a state report that flagged the vendor's "windfall" profits, Aramark pulled out of Florida prisons last month. The firm said it could no longer make money due to skyrocketing prices of bread, milk and other staples amid pressure from the state to cut costs. A second, smaller company also left: Trinity Services Group of Oldsmar had served meals at North Florida prisons, including Madison. Now that the vendors are gone, the privatization experiment is officially dead and the state must run an in-house meals program on less money amid the worst budget crisis in decades. In fiscal 2007-08, Florida paid two private vendors a total of $85 million. The current year's food budget is $76 million. Aramark's per-diem rate, or cost per day to feed an inmate, was $2.69. Now it's $2.12, which will force the state to make menu changes to save money.

December 23, 2008 Gainesville Sun
Florida's inmates will soon have a new chef in the kitchen. By the second week of January, all food served in state prisons will be prepared by state employees and inmates. The Department of Corrections is taking over in the kitchen after its two contracted providers, Trinity Food Services and Aramark Correctional Services, terminated their contracts to feed inmates. Both providers have told prison officials that inflation, especially rapidly rising food costs, was a primary factor in their decisions to end their contracts. The department is taking over at a time when the inmate population is growing significantly and the Legislature is cutting expenditures. The 2008 state Legislature cut the department's 2008-2009 food appropriation by $9.25 million to $76.5 million. When the Legislature met in the spring, the inmate population was estimated at nearly 89,000, but earlier this month topped 100,000 for the first time in state history. Prison contracts show Trinity pulled out of the prisons it was serving in November and Aramark will be out of all the prisons it has been serving by Jan. 12. Since beginning to assume control of the prison kitchens, the department has contracted with U.S. Food Services to provide food.

November 13, 2008 Palm Beach Post
A seven-year privatization effort for prison food services is officially over as the state begins taking over meal preparation in some prisons today. But Florida prison officials are unable to pinpoint exactly how much serving nearly 100,000 inmates will save taxpayers, or if it will at all. "We don't have a number right now," Department of Corrections spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger said this week. Corrections officials were ordered by the legislature this year to trim more than $9.2 million from their annual $83.9 million food services budget by cutting back on calories, changing the meal plan and allowing the two vendors to reduce staff. But prison officials were reluctant to implement reductions because they feared it could lead to inmate uprisings and endanger guards. After rebidding the food services contract and issuing an invitation to bid on just food, the department settled on a $77.2 million contract with U.S. Food Services to supply the food and take over cooking the meals and cleaning up in-house. Lawmakers have been looking for places to trim the state budget all year with as much as $3 billion less in revenue than expected. They could meet as early as next month for another cost-cutting session. "The days of 'trust me' and ask the legislature to just sign off on things are over. People are going to have to justify every cent that the public provides. If it saves money, I'm all for it. But everything's going to have to be proven," said Sen. Alex Villalobos, R-Miami, who served on the Senate Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations Committee and was appointed Rules Chairman Thursday. Vendors Trinity Food Services and Aramark said they could not cut costs without changing the menu, something else prison officials were reluctant to do because studies show that meal changes create disturbances in prisons. Both Vendors Trinity Food Services and Aramark vendors gave notice this year sent letters to the department earlier this year giving officials notice that they were going to walk away from the contracts. DOC this summer reissued a bid food services and another for food products only. The cheapest bid for food services came from Philadelphia-based Aramark for $96.1 million, Plessinger said, nearly $21.5 million more than their revised budget allows. "We're looking at all of those numbers and we do believe it will come in under $96.1 million," Plessinger said of the new contract. Since signing a contract with the state seven years ago, Aramark has received mixed reviews. There have been questions about food quality, quantity and potential health violations. At times, the company has been fined by the state for failure to meet the specifications of its contract. The company now faces fines of more than $300,000 for violations. Trinity, which serves the region of the state from Madison to Flagler counties, will cease serving food today. Aramark will gradually withdraw from the rest of the state and will be out of the state's prison food business by mid-January. Taking back food operations is "quite unprecedented for a department of corrections," Aramark spokeswoman Sarah Jarvis said. Prison officials they can cut the food price by altering the menu and making other cost savings quickly, Plessinger said. The department will realize 100 percent of the savings by changing the menu to cheaper items instead of splitting that with the vendors, she said. The plan includes having inmates grow more of their own food and training them as cooks, Plessinger said, part of DOC's efforts to prepare inmates for release. "We think this is going to be a win for everybody. First and foremost for Florida taxpayers because this is the best way for us to cut our food budget. It's also a win for our inmates because it's going to expand training programs for them," Plessinger said, while maintaining prison safety.

September 10, 2008 St Petersburg Times
Food service vendor Aramark soon will cut ties with Florida prisons, bringing to an end another privatization venture begun when Jeb Bush was governor. Hired in 2001 to replace a state-run food system, the company, often criticized by the state for cutting corners and maximizing profits, said it will stop serving meals Jan. 9. That leaves the cash-strapped prison system four months to find a new way to deliver food to the nation's third-largest prison population, which has more than 92,000 inmates. Aramark told the Department of Corrections on Tuesday that it will invoke a 120-day termination clause in its contract. The company cited "unprecedented" inflation in food costs and a poor working relationship with the state. "We have been unable to achieve the type of partnership consistent with our expectations for a positive long-term relationship," wrote Tim Campbell, president of Aramark Correctional Services. The stormy seven-year tenure between the Philadelphia-based food giant and the Department of Corrections has deteriorated in recent months. This year alone, the state fined Aramark $261,000 for violations ranging from long lines to excessive substitutions of menu items. Food in prison isn't just a necessity. Many corrections experts consider it a key to keeping inmates under control and to avoiding lawsuits alleging inhumane treatment of prisoners. "Food really becomes a security issue for us," Corrections Secretary Walt McNeil said recently. He complained of Aramark cooks substituting lower-quality ingredients for beef or turkey. Under pressure by the state Legislature to cut costs by $9.3-million without sacrificing quality, McNeil last month invited other vendors to submit bids in hopes of finding a company willing to earn less. A review last year by the prisons' inspector general found that Aramark earned a "windfall" because it was allowed to serve cheaper ground turkey instead of real beef, and was paid based on the number of inmates, and not on the actual number of meals served. The report urged a rewriting of the contract or restoring food service to an in-house operation. "The state rushed into it, and like most shotgun weddings, the marriage has been pretty tortured," said Rep. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach.

May 12, 2008 Palm Beach Post
One of the two companies that feed state prisoners has racked up nearly $250,000 in fines since the beginning of the year for violations including not having enough food and staffing shortages. That brings the total fines for Aramark to more than $864,000 since 2001 when the state hired private companies to take over feeding the more than 92,000 inmates in Florida prisons. More than $300,000 of Aramark fines have been rescinded by the Department of Corrections. Corrections officials are questioning Aramark's ability to provide quality food in sufficient quantities. The officials also say they are concerned about the company's staffing levels. "We have certain standards regarding foods for inmates that we're not prepared to see relaxed. We want to make sure they jibe with our standards," Corrections Chief of Staff Richard Prudom said of Aramark, which is negotiating a new contract with the state. One recent concern was an outbreak last month at the Santa Rosa Correctional Institution where almost 300 inmates became ill. The cause of the illness remains under investigation and no one is blaming Aramark, but corrections officials have not ruled out that the food caused the illness. Aramark spokeswoman Sarah Jarvis said the food was not the cause. "There are a lot of different reasons why inmates, especially in close quarters, can get ill," Jarvis said. "It can be close quarters. It can be sewer systems." Corrections officials took the trays and tested them and stool samples of inmates for food poisoning, Jarvis said, and the results were negative. Corrections officials said Monday they have not received the results and the investigation is ongoing. Aramark has been fined for running out of food, not having enough staff and diverging from the meals agreed to in its contract with the state, according to DOC records. The department let Aramark off the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines under former Corrections Secretary Jimmy Crosby, now in prison for taking kickbacks from contractors.

March 29, 2008 Palm Beach Post
Mushy bland broccoli stems accompanied by a greasy mystery meat endowed with undercooked rice is as good as it gets for inmates behind bars. But, according to the vendor who provides the food and some lawmakers, that's still too good. They want to cut as much as $11 million from prison food contracts as part of an effort to pare about $3 billion from next year's state budget. Prison officials fear that cutting the food budget will lower the quality of meals that are already bland and cause unrest among inmates. Anger about meals is the No. 1 reason for inmate uprisings, according to corrections officials, and menu changes imperil safety for prison guards, inmates and the public in general. "We think any reduction to (the current menu) that is not a change for health reasons poses a risk to public safety," said Department of Corrections Chief of Staff Richard Prudhom. "It may sound overly dramatic, but we strongly believe that." The state pays nearly $79 million per year to two food service vendors - Philadelphia-based Aramark and Oldsmar-based Trinity Services Group Inc. - for the bulk of the food that is purchased for Florida's more than 92,000 inmates. The state now pays $2.67 for three meals a day for each inmate. Lawmakers in the House want to reduce that cost to $2.30 a day. Aramark representatives have convinced some lawmakers that the state can save millions by reducing calories fed to inmates. The company wants to go back to a menu it once served that prison officials say was unacceptable. While the current menu is better then the old one, some inmates still complain about the food. "I don't eat it. I just come here to give it away," Calvin Mayes, an inmate at Jefferson Correctional Institution in Monticello, said after a lunch of Spanish rice and broccoli. Instead, he spends about $150 a month at the prison canteen to buy food. "The quality of the food is substandard," said a relative of an inmate at Marion Correctional Institution in Lowell, who asked not to be named because she feared retaliation against the prisoner. "The preparation is haphazard. They're supposed to wear hairnets and gloves. You find hair in your food and you find a Band-Aid in your food. Things are so overcooked it's mush, or it's not cooked at all." Sen. Tony Hill recently asked the legislature's Joint Auditing Committee to conduct an investigation into the Aramark contract, and Aramark spokeswoman Sarah Jarvis confirmed that the state auditor general is also looking into it. "When you've got people boycotting the food altogether, that's a problem," said Hill, D-Jacksonville. Some inmates, like Donald Jones, say the food is the best it has ever been. But food quality is less important to some lawmakers than saving money for taxpayers. The Senate has proposed slicing $6 million from the current prison food budget, while the House wants to cut $11 million. "We're talking about substantial savings," Jarvis said. "They way the savings come about is by making better use of the ingredients served. For instance, replace French toast with pancakes." Jarvis said that Aramark's spending for food has tripled since the initial contract was established in 2001. Aramark wants to do more than change the menu. The company also is proposing cutting back on the number of workers it provides prisons, shifting the responsibility to corrections officials. Guards would have to fill in, posing a problem for an already understaffed corrections system that could lose 1,800 guards under the Senate proposal, according to corrections officials. Since signing a contract with the state seven years ago, Aramark has received mixed reviews. There have been questions about food quality, quantity and potential health violations. At times, the company has been fined by the state for failure to meet the specifications of its contract. Critics suggest the proposed new contract is really an attempt by Aramark to make more money by paying less for food. The company is paid not by the number of meals consumed but by the number of inmates. If fewer inmates eat the food, Aramark can save money by providing less food. In February, Aramark-served institutions had an 85 percent participation rate of inmates eating the company's meals. Trinity, which serves food to about one quarter of the state's inmates, had a 97 percent participation rate. A state audit of the Aramark contract last year found that the participation rates equated to a "windfall for the vendor" and that Aramark substituted low-cost foods, such as turkey instead of beef, without passing the savings on to the state. Aramark representatives and corrections officials both say those problems have been resolved. Trinity this month canceled its contract with the state, giving it until August to renegotiate because, the company claims, it is losing money on the deal. Corrections officials said they will meet with Trinity and Aramark next week to discuss their contracts.

February 16, 2008 Miami Herald
Sweat dripping from his brow, union representative Bruce Raynor promised a crowd nearing 100, including two state lawmakers, that he wouldn't rest until food service provider Aramark is stripped of its contract with the Florida Department of Corrections. At the sidewalk rally outside downtown Miami government buildings Friday, Raynor, the president of the Unite Here union that represents more than 20,000 Aramark employees nationwide, accused the company of collecting millions of dollars of taxpayer money by charging for meals that were never served and using substandard ingredients in food preparation. ''We are sick and tired of hard workers and taxpayers having their pockets picked by greedy corporations,'' Raynor said. ``We want to call on the attention of state officials.'' The allegations are based on a January 2007 Department of Corrections internal audit that states Aramark's practice of charging the state per inmate and not per meal served resulted in ''a windfall for the vendor,'' which reduced Aramarks costs by $4.9 million per year. However, Department of Corrections and Aramark officials claim the unions are using the audit to push a labor-related agenda, and that the issues in the report have been resolved. 'As far as Aramark getting a windfall profit, we don't believe that's the case,'' said DOC spokesperson Gretl Plessinger. ``The contract is now a really good deal.'' According to the audit, the company was being paid for more than 6,000 meals per day that it didn't serve. Still, Plessinger said the DOC renewed its contract with Aramark last year, with changes partially based on the audit's findings. In a Jan. 30 letter to Tim Campbell, Aramark's president, DOC secretary James McDonough wrote: ``It is our department's position that Aramark has acted faithfully to abide by both its former and its current contract with the department.'' While union representatives claim Aramark used cheaper meat products to cut corners, McDonough said in the letter all food changes were approved by a DOC committee, and inmate meals in Florida meet ``minimum health standards.'' Kristine Grow, an Aramark spokesperson, said the unions' accusations are based on ulterior motives: ``This is more about allegations to get us to agree to their demands than it is about our clients or taxpayers.'' At the rally, State Sen. Tony Hill and State Rep. Luis Garcia said they would explore starting a state probe into DOC's contract with Aramark.

Florida officials are gambling with prison safety by continuing to employ Aramark Corp. as the principal food service provider for the state's correctional facilities. Since the company took over prison kitchens last year, it has continually violated regulations designed to promote sanitation and safety within the facilities. Their five-year contract, part of Gov. Jeb Bush's plan to reduce payroll by privatizing many state operations, is expected to cut prison food costs by $8-million in its first year. But quality has been one of the first ingredients sacrificed by Aramark's cost-cutting measures. State officials have yet to push the company to comply with prison regulations or to find a food service provider that will. The Times' Thomas Tobin recently reported that, under Aramark, daily logs kept by corrections officers across the state have described filthy kitchens, frequent meal delays, attempts to serve spoiled, watered down or undercooked food and a chronic inability to follow a state rule requiring all inmates to receive the same meal -- a security measure to prevent petty food jealousies from escalating into fights. Florida has already assessed $110,000 in fines against Aramark. But compared with the profit the company will earn in its first year, that's hardly the crackdown needed to force the company to mend its reckless ways. If the company cannot live up to its promises, the state needs to find a food service provider that can. Florida inmates deserve better service and corrections officers deserve to work in as safe an environment as possible. Gov. Bush and corrections secretary Michael Moore have been warned repeatedly about Aramark's unsafe practices. If a food riot breaks out and someone is killed, state officials will have some explaining to do. (St. Petersburg Times, July 2, 2002)

Hiring Aramark to feed prisoners has saved the state millions, but the company faces fines and fears over guard safety. Take any cross-section of Floridians and poll them about prisons. Few would care that, one day last February, lunch at the Madison Correctional Institution featured a particularly soupy batch of sloppy joes. But corrections Capt. Hugh Poppell took notice right away. He saw the prison's new civilian food service staff dilute the entree even more, adding ketchup and tomato paste to make it stretch among the 700-plus inmates still lined up to be fed. Poppell reported what he saw to warden Joe Thompson, who quickly investigated and found the workers had shorted the recipe by 70 pounds of ground beef and turkey. The warden also noted: "The other ingredients such as onions, celery and green peppers in the entree were not observed." Far from a show of concern over the inmate palate, the officers were heeding an age-old canon of prison administration: A hungry, discontented inmate is often a problem inmate -- and a potential threat. The culprit in the sloppy joe episode and scores of other recent food foibles across Florida was Aramark Corp., the cost-conscious Philadelphia company hired last year to feed inmates in 126 of Florida's 133 corrections facilities. The contract is part of Gov. Jeb Bush's push to reduce payroll by privatizing many state operations. But a rocky first year has prompted the state to assess $110,000 in fines against Aramark. Though the company has saved money for Florida, its stewardship over the state's prison kitchens has created a new set of concerns for frontline corrections officials, including: dirty kitchens that in one county produced maggots, frequent cooking delays that throw off prison schedules, food quality that often falls beneath expectations and a chronic inability to follow a state rule that requires every inmate to receive the same meal. So vigilant is Aramark's cost-cutting that a supervisor ordered workers to scoop food from pans in a way that wouldn't jam too much into the ladle, said Norma Schamens, 33, an Aramark employee for three months in Gulf County before she was fired in May. "There were some decent meals," she said. "But they were few and far between." "Any corrections officer will tell you that when inmates don't get fed right, that's where the riots start," said Al Shopp, a former corrections officer who monitors working conditions in prisons for the Florida Police Benevolent Association. "It's an officer safety issue . . . It's just a situation that I'm afraid will eventually go awry." Before Aramark, Florida corrections officers cooked meals. "It was like a military operation. You got them in, you got them fed and you got them out," Shopp said. "There were bumps in the road, but nothing like it is today." (St. Petersburg Times, June 17, 2002)

Fresno County Jail, Fresno, California
September 23, 2008 Fresno Bee
Fresno County is looking for a new vendor to supply food to jail inmates. Aramark Correctional Services notified the county that it is terminating its contract and will stop providing meals to the jail Nov. 20. A company spokeswoman said the contract is no longer profitable because of rising food costs. Spokeswoman Sarah Jarvis said the cost to purchase food has tripled. Last November, board members signed off on a five-year, $30.2 million deal with Aramark. The deal lowered the per-meal cost, from $1.24 to $1.12, and required Aramark to pay utility costs associated with use of the county's central kitchen. The company recently tried to increase its profits by proposing a program called "Fresh Food for Inmates" that would allow inmates to purchase a special hot meal once a week. Inmates would have been able to purchase items such as cheeseburgers, nachos, chili cheese fries and burritos. But Board Chairman Henry Perea called the proposal "ridiculous." "It's insane to even be considering such a program," he said. "I can't tell you how much this upsets me." County supervisors said they would allow other companies to bid on the contract. Aramark said it's interested in rebidding, but county officials said they want to see whether they can exclude the company from the process. Aramark also provides meals to the juvenile detention facility and the county's psychiatric units. County supervisors indicated that they may look for separate vendors to supply food to those areas. Supervisor Bob Waterston also wants the county to consider having inmates cook and prepare their own meals.

Fresno County Juvenile Hall, Fresno, California
June 28, 2006 KFSN
An investigation is underway into a troubling discovery at Fresno County's juvenile hall, where a rodent head was found inside a dinner meal. The current juvenile hall in southeast Fresno has been plagued with concerns about overcrowding and other unsafe conditions. A new $142 million facility is set to open south of Fresno to take its place. Juvenile hall officials are confirming a rodent head was found in a meal served there. They are investigating just how the foreign object got into the dinner meal served to a young offender. Chief Probation Officer Linda Penner tells Action News, "It looked to be like a small mouse head between bread that was served to a minor at the facility." Environmental health officials are investigating how the rodent head may have gotten into a dinner meal served on Sunday, June 18th. Meals are prepared at the Fresno County central kitchen by a company named Aramark. The county memo sent to employees says, "There have been no similar allegations from the jail facilities ... and the county regularly inspects the operation to ensure proper handling of food."

Fulton County, Fulton, Georgia
March 22, 2007 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Fulton County will take a step back and ask more companies to bid on a contract to feed inmates at the Fulton County Jail. Fulton's County Commission voted unanimously Wednesday for a 90-day deferral on a vote to hire a food service provider for the jail and satellite facilities. County purchasing officials are to use the delay to advertise the contract in national publications that cater to the corrections industry. Commissioners weren't pleased by a staff recommendation to hire Gourmet-ARAMARK Correctional Services, which the county fired two years ago. Some commissioners drilled into the county's purchasing guidelines because they give a big bonus to companies that have an office in Fulton County. Commissioner Robb Pitts said Gourmet-ARAMARK would have won the contract even if all three bidders had scored the same in every category but one — location. For the sole reason that it was the only company with a physical address in Fulton County, the company outscored its competition and won the staff's recommendation, Pitts said. Chairman John Eaves said he didn't understand why Gourmet-ARAMARK got the nod when its $4 million bid was the highest of the three that were submitted. It was about $1 million higher than the low bidder. Eaves made the motion to defer the vote. Felicia Strong-Whitaker, a deputy director of the county's purchasing department, said the county's purchasing guidelines state that cost makes up 25 points of the formula used to recommend a company for this type of contract. A company gets an automatic 10 points if it has an office in Fulton County, she said.

February 21, 2007 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Amid allegations of bid rigging and corruption, Fulton County commissioners agreed Wednesday to rebid a lucrative food service contract at the county jail. County Attorney O.V. Brantley said Wednesday she's launched a probe into the allegations, but Commissioner Robb Pitts said any investigation should be turned over to state or federal agents. "Someone seems hell bent on giving the contract to this firm," Pitts said. "I'm going to find out why.... This is serious stuff...This needs to be investigated, not in house but by someone outside." The Trinity Services Group won the original contract in 2005, but it expired more than a year ago. When it was rebid in December, Trinity received the recommendation, even though it was the highest bidder of the three, according to county records. One of the firms that was rejected filed a formal protest with the county, and the other filed a letter, also with the county, claiming employees were pressured to change bid evaluations to ensure that the deal stayed with Trinity. Charles Mathis Jr. said his client, Meat Masters Inc., was the rightful winner of the contract with a bid that was $850,000 lower than Trinity's $4.1 million offer. They only failed, Mathis said in his letter, because county employees were pressured to doctor the bid evaluations. "Meat Masters should legitimately be awarded the contract," Mathis wrote. Two county employees, Sgt. Chandra Hall and former Chief Jailer Charles Felton, provided written statements to Meat Masters that they had been directed to change the contract evaluations to boost the results for Trinity. The Board of Commissioners has copies of the letters, which were also obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Both said they were threatened that if they went before commissioners with Meat Masters as the bidder they would be hammered. The other bidder, Gourmet-Aramark Correctional Services, has alleged collusion involving the other two bidders since Meat Masters was included as a subcontractor on the winning bid by Trinity. Lawyer Michael Coleman, who served as hearing officer for the complaint, issued a ruling on Feb. 16 that recommended Fulton rebid the deal. "Due to the questions raised by the county's rejection of Gourmet-ARAMARK's proposal and the collusion claims involving Trinity and Meat Masters, the appropriate remedy is to cancel the current RFP and re-issue a new RFP," Coleman found.

A company accused of serving bad food to senior citizens is moving on.  Aramark has voluntarily given up a $700,000 contract to prepare food for seniors and the homebound in Fulton County.  An 11Alive News investigation last month revealed numerous complaints about the company’s services ranging from spoiled and outdated milk to deliveries of fish that were not fully cooked, clumps of grease on food and one report of a roach found embedded in meat.  Earnestine Yarborough, a senior citizen, said she got chicken that was badly undercooked. "It was pink water running out of it and pink next to the bone,” Yarborough said.  (11alive.com, August 4, 2004)

Giants Stadium, New Jersey
December 3, 2008 Star-Ledger
The family of a young girl paralyzed in a drunk-driving accident nine years ago received a $25 million settlement from Aramark Corp., the Giants Stadium beer vendor whose employees continued to serve the intoxicated fan who caused the crash. The settlement with the family of Antonia Verni, who is now 11, took place last year but was not disclosed until today, when a state appeals court ruled that sealed documents in the case must be made public. Antonia, a quadriplegic who requires a ventilator to breathe, received $23.5 million in the settlement, said the family's lawyer, David A. Mazie of Roseland. Her mother, Fazila Verni, received $1.5 million for injuries she suffered in the crash.

October 25, 2007 The Record
On a fall Sunday eight years ago, Antonia Verni of Cliffside Park was sent to a harsh prison, probably for the rest of her life. Her incarceration does not include steel bars, stone walls and stern guards, though. Antonia's prison is far more merciless. On that Sunday, a man who later said he was "beyond drunk," drove his pickup truck head-on into the Verni family's Toyota Corolla. Antonia was paralyzed from the neck down. She was only 2 years old and was returning with her mother and father from a trip to pick pumpkins. Antonia now spends her days in a wheelchair, hooked to a breathing machine and monitored by a nurse. Over the course of her life, her parents, who quit their jobs to care for her, may have to come up with as much as $32 million to pay all of Antonia's medical bills. The fiery crash on Terrace Avenue in Hasbrouck Heights, which also left Antonia's mother partially blind, galvanized national attention to the dangers of drunken drivers. But it raised other questions, too: What about those who serve booze to drunks? Are servers guilty? If not, why not? The drunken driver, Daniel Lanzaro, a Cresskill carpenter and father of two young sons, spent that tragic day swilling the equivalent of three six-packs of beer, mostly inside Giants Stadium. When he rammed his truck into the Verni car, his blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit. Didn't anyone who sold beer at Giants Stadium or at area bars later visited by Lanzaro notice that he was blind drunk? As you might expect, this tragedy landed in court. Lanzaro pleaded guilty to a criminal charge of vehicular assault and was sentenced to five years in prison. The Verni family filed a lawsuit, and won a historic $135 million judgment, with $105 million of it to come from the stadium beer vendor, Aramark Corp. Aramark appealed – no surprise there. Nor was it surprising that lawyers for Antonia's family and Aramark privately worked out a settlement, approved last week by a Bergen County judge. What's surprising – and sad -- is that the judge sealed the records. This pivotal chapter of Antonia's story needs to be told, not locked in a judicial file drawer. We've heard many times how drunken driving wrecks innocent lives. Indeed, such stories are important. But we also need to explore other, wide-ranging implications of drunken driving, especially for those who sell booze in taverns or at public sporting events. Our government issues liquor licenses to these vendors. Why shouldn't taxpayers know more about them? Sealing records in such an important court case does not add to constructive discourse. It puts a damper on it. In reaching an agreement with Antonia's family, Aramark issued a statement claiming it "settled the litigation without any admission of wrongdoing." It merely paid Antonia's family – as if that means nothing. Antonia's parents seem satisfied that the settlement will cover their daughter's medical bills. That's good news. But why not disclose the amount? Knowing the size of the judgment might be a warning to vendors to be careful. And why allow Aramark to avoid admitting any responsibility? Or was that question dropped from discussions? More important, was Giants Stadium required to take additional steps to make sure tipsy fans are not served at future events? Open those records. It's the only way to be sure.

September 7, 2006 Star-Ledger
Lawyers for a Bergen County girl paralyzed in a drunken-driving accident have asked the state Supreme Court to review her case against the beer vendor at Giants Stadium, claiming the issues could affect drunken-driving policies in New Jersey. The attorneys argue that a state appeals court erred in August when it overturned a landmark $135 million jury verdict against the stadium vendor, Aramark Corp., and a fan whose drunken-driving accident left 2-year-old Antonia Verni of Cliffside Park paralyzed. The appeals court ordered a new trial, ruling that testimony about the "culture of intoxication" at the stadium should not have been presented to the jury. Antonia's attorneys disagree. "If this decision is allowed to stand, it will emasculate the ability of victims of drunk driving to go after liquor establishments that serve visibly intoxicated patrons, by eliminating certain evidence that can go before a jury, and that's not what the law ... intended," said Antonia's attorney, David Mazie, who filed a 25-page petition to the state Supreme Court on Tuesday.

August 3, 2006 AP
A New Jersey appeals court on Thursday overturned a landmark $105 million verdict against a Giants Stadium concessionaire that sold beer to a drunken football fan who later caused an auto accident, leaving a girl paralyzed. The three-judge appeals panel ruled that the trial court erred by improperly allowing testimony about the “drinking environment at the stadium” and ordered a new trial should be held. “The admission of this evidence cannot be considered harmless. A central theme of plaintiffs’ case was the culture of intoxication at the stadium,” the court wrote in its 65-page ruling. Last year, a state judge in Hackensack rejected an effort by Philadelphia-based Aramark Corp. to throw out or reduce the verdict. Its vendors sold beer to Daniel Lanzaro, of Cresskill, during a 1999 New York Giants game just hours before he caused a car crash that left then-2-year-old Antonia Verni paralyzed from the neck down. In January 2005, a Bergen County jury said Lanzaro and Aramark should pay a total of $135 million in damages. At the time, legal experts said it was the largest alcohol liability award in the United States in at least the last 25 years. Aramark’s portion of that award included $30 million in compensatory damages and $75 million in punitive damages.

May 31, 2006 NewJersey.com
Lawyers for a food-service giant that was ordered to pay $105 million to the family of a Cliffside Park girl paralyzed in a drunken-driving crash argued Tuesday that the victim's father shares responsibility for her condition. Antonia Verni was 2 years old when a truck driven by a drunken Cresskill man slammed head-on into her family's sedan on Terrace Avenue in Hasbrouck Heights on Oct. 29, 1999. A Bergen County jury in January 2005 ruled that employees of Aramark Corp. irresponsibly sold beer to the drunken driver, Daniel Lanzaro, contributing to the crash. The jurors awarded more than $135 million in compensatory and punitive damages – an amount many lawyers believe is the largest ever in such a lawsuit. Aramark is liable for $105 million and Lanzaro the rest. Arguing before a state appellate panel in Trenton on Tuesday, Aramark attorneys lambasted Superior Court Judge Richard Donohue for dismissing evidence that they said should have been admitted during the civil case in Hackensack. For one thing, they contended, Ronald Verni had strapped Antonia in an adult seat belt instead of a child restraint. The impact jolted her head forward, breaking her neck and causing the paralysis, they said. Antonia's mother, Fazila Baksh Verni, was the only other person seriously injured in the crash. The woman, who the lawyers said wasn't wearing a seat belt, was hospitalized for two months and left partially blinded. "Everyone walked away from the accident, except Antonia and her mother," said Aramark lawyer Michael Rodburg. However, he said, the jurors in Hackensack were never allowed to review that evidence during the trial. "This was a smear case against Aramark," he said. "And the judge allowed it."January 26, 2006 Star-Ledger
A lawyer for an 8-year-old paralyzed car crash victim has filed a motion to expedite the appeal of a $135 million jury verdict, most of it against the beer service company at Giants Stadium. Attorney David Mazie of Roseland said the state appellate court should speed up the case because his client, Antonia Verni, is ventilator-dependent and has been unable to get the 24-hour nursing care that experts on both sides of the case recommend. Neither Antonia nor her mother, Fazila, has been able to collect the money while the case is pending, Mazie said. "It's very unusual to file an appeal to expedite," Mazie said. "It's only done in the gravest of cases. We think her situation is one such case. This is to prevent something catastrophic from happening." Last January, Antonia and her mother were awarded $135 million in compensatory and punitive damages, most of it against Aramark Corp., the concessionaire at Giants Stadium. A jury determined there was a "culture of intoxication" at the stadium and found Aramark guilty of serving a visibly drunk fan who later caused the car crash that left the Cliffside Park girl injured. Aramark appealed, but a state appellate court could take until September to hear arguments. Antonia's court-appointed legal guardian for the case, Albert Burstein, said the second-grader can't wait that long to collect her award. He said the family only has limited access to about $500,000 collected in settlements from third parties. "There's not enough money to match the daily costs of taking care of Antonia," Burstein said. "If we were to do the job we would like to do on her behalf, which means round-the-clock care by professionals, it adds up very rapidly." Antonia has a nurse during school hours, paid for by the school district. Her mother, who has no formal medical training, cares for Antonia at home.

September 25, 2005 San Francisco Chronicle
Fans who drive after drinking excessively at 49ers or Raiders games, or any other sporting event, would be well advised to consider the plight of an 8-year-old New Jersey girl. And a vendor who sells an intoxicated fan another beer should think not only about the little girl but about the multimillion-dollar judgment a jury ruled she and her family were entitled to receive earlier this year from the New York Giants' concessionaire. "Concessionaires throughout the country are well aware of that case," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. In January, a jury awarded $135 million to the family of Antonia Verni, who was paralyzed from the neck down in a car wreck caused by a drunken football fan. The fan is serving a five-year prison sentence, and the concessionaire whose employees sold him beers when he was already clearly intoxicated will pay the family $110 million unless the verdict, currently on appeal, is reduced or reversed. The NFL, the 49ers and the Raiders say the Verni case was a wakeup call for the league and the people who serve fans millions of dollars worth of beer and other alcoholic beverages each season. Like other pro sports leagues, the NFL is heavily intertwined with beer companies. Their signage is as much a part of stadiums as the goalposts, and their commercials form the backbone of the league's TV sponsorship. Attorney David Mazie said from his office in Roseland, N.J., "Quite frankly, I haven't heard anything that demonstrates the NFL and teams have changed their policies on serving alcohol -- other than paying lip service. I haven't seen anything at all." Mazie called the verdict against Aramark "a milestone" in holding a concessionaire accountable. "There may have been settlements before, but I'm not aware of any verdicts. Clearly, it's a landmark, not only because of its size but because of the punitive damages."Lanzaro "was trashed" when the accident occurred, Mazie said. "I'm sure there were 5,000 others in the same condition (driving away from the game)." "As long as you're not falling down, they'll serve you," Mazie said of Aramark employees. "The person who trained them said that. But by the time you're slurring your speech or stumbling, your blood-alcohol is between .10 and .15. Anything above .08 is drunk driving, so what they're saying is they'll still serve people when they're at twice the legal limit." "There are a series of signs -- slurring of speech, talking a lot, not being able to hold themselves up straight," spokesman David Freireich said from the firm's headquarters in Philadelphia. Aramark is a founding member of the Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management (TEAM) Coalition, a nonprofit group that advises pro sports leagues and sponsors designated-driver programs at McAfee Coliseum and other parks, Freireich pointed out.

March 4, 2005 USA Today
A state judge on Friday upheld a $105 million verdict against a Giants Stadium concessionaire for selling beer to a drunken football fan who later caused an auto accident, leaving a girl paralyzed. State Superior Court Judge Richard J. Donohue in Hackensack rejected an effort by Philadelphia-based Aramark Corp. to throw out or reduce the verdict. Its vendors sold beer to Daniel Lanzaro of Cresskill during a 1999 New York Giants game hours before he caused a car crash that left then 2-year-old Antonia Verni paralyzed from the neck down. "It sends a message to Aramark and other beer concessions around the state that they have to change their ways," said David Mazie, a Roseland lawyer representing Verni's family. Aramark's portion of that award included $30 million in compensatory damages and $75 million in punitive damages. Interest accruing daily has brought the company's total to nearly $110 million, according to Mazie. The family claimed Aramark vendors sold beers to Lanzaro at the stadium in East Rutherford even though he was clearly drunk. The company, they said, fostered an atmosphere in which intoxicated patrons were able to buy more.

January 21, 2005 Reuters
The family of a girl paralyzed in a car crash caused by a drunken football fan won $105 million in damages from the concessionaire that sold him beer, and the girl's father said on Thursday the case should have far-reaching effects.
The Superior Court jury in Hackensack, New Jersey, assessed punitive damages on Wednesday against Giants Stadium concessionaire Aramark Corp., for its role in the October 1999 accident that left Antonia Verni, then 2 years old, paralyzed from the neck down.

January 18, 2005 AP
A jury awarded $60 million Tuesday to the family of a girl paralyzed in a car wreck caused by a drunken football fan. Ronald and Fazila Verni were headed home from a pumpkin-picking trip in 1999 with their 2-year-old daughter, Antonia, when their car was hit by a truck driven by Daniel Lanzaro, 34. Antonia was paralyzed from the neck down. The family sued Aramark, the Giants Stadium concessionaire, claiming vendors sold beers to Lanzaro even though he was clearly drunk and that Aramark fostered an atmosphere in which intoxicated patrons were served. The stadium also mandates that fans can only buy two beers at a time -- a rule Lanzaro sidestepped by tipping the vendor $10, allowing him to buy six beers.

January 14, 2005 WNBC News
Jury deliberations have begun in a civil lawsuit filed by the family of a 7-year-old girl who was paralyzed when a drunken football fan on his way home from a New York Giants game crashed into the family's car.
The family claims Aramark, the Giants Stadium concessionaire that sold beers to the fan, was partly responsible for the crash in Hasbrouck Heights. The family claims Aramark vendors sold beers to Daniel Lanzaro at the stadium even though the Cresskill man was clearly drunk and that Aramark "fostered" an atmosphere where intoxicated patrons were served, which is against the law.

January 12, 2005 NewJersey.com
An admitted alcoholic who slammed his truck into a Cliffside Park family's car, paralyzing their 2-year-old daughter, wasn't visibly drunk when he bought beer at Giants Stadium earlier that day, an alcohol expert told jurors Tuesday.
Robert J. Pandina, a psychology professor and director of the Center of Alcohol Studies at Rutgers University, said Daniel Lanzaro of Cresskill couldn't have had more than five or six beers inside the stadium. The parents of the injured girl are suing Aramark, the food-service company that holds the liquor license at the stadium, saying it sold alcohol irresponsibly to Lanzaro. Lanzaro, a 35-year-old carpenter and father of two, left a Giants game on Oct. 24, 1999, and crashed his truck head-on into the car of Ronald and Fazila Baksh Verni in Hasbrouck Heights. The crash seriously injured Baksh Verni and left the Vernis' daughter, Antonia, a paraplegic. The family is suing Aramark under a state law that holds vendors liable for damages caused by patrons who were served alcohol while visibly intoxicated.

December 9, 2004 Star-Ledger
Sitting in her wheelchair with a stuffed doll propping her head, unable to move her arms or legs, 7-year-old Antonia Verni told a jury yesterday what she wants to be when she grows up. "I want to be a singer, a rock star, a kindergarten teacher and a ballerina," Verni said, her melodic voice filling the tiny courtroom. Two jurors cried. Others shifted in their seats. Doctors say the Cliffside Park girl will never be able to walk as a result of a car accident when she was 2 years old, when a drunken football fan rammed his truck into her family's car as they were driving home from pumpkin picking. Verni testified on the second day of a civil trial in Superior Court in Bergen County in a case against Aramark, the Giants Stadium concessionaire that sold beers to the fan who crashed into the Vernis, Daniel Lanzaro.

December 9, 2004 NorthJersey.com
A drunken driver who rammed his truck into a young family's car in Hasbrouck Heights - paralyzing a 2-year-old girl for life and landing himself in prison for five years - openly admits that he was "beyond drunk" in the 1999 accident. But the buck doesn't stop there, lawyers for the Cliffside Park family contend. Aramark's beer servers, who sold more than a dozen beers to the driver at Giants Stadium during a game, are equally responsible, say the lawyers, who have taken the battle to the multinational food-service conglomerate. As a civil trial opened Wednesday in Superior Court in Hackensack, the first witness for the Verni family was Daniel Lanzaro, the drunken driver, who is still in prison. Lanzaro is a defendant, but is penniless and is testifying willingly. He testified that Aramark concession stands - contrary to state law and the company's internal rules - sold alcohol at the stadium to visibly intoxicated patrons. Aramark's lawyer, Brian Harris, told the jury during his opening statement that Lanzaro was a seasoned drinker who didn't display signs of intoxication when he was drunk. Even though Aramark's beer sellers are trained in identifying intoxicated people, Lanzaro fooled them, he said.

Hays State Prison, Rome, Georgia
July 20, 2010 Rome News-Tribune
Two people were arrested on drug charges Sunday after a road check was conducted on the access road to Hays State Prison in Chattooga County, a prison spokeswoman said. According to Chattooga County Jail records and Susie McGraw, secretary to Warden Clay Tatum: Patricia Denton of Flintsone was charged with crossing guard lines with drugs or intoxicants, possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and the possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime. Denton worked for a private food service company.

Hendry Correctional Institute, Immokalee, Florida
A 35-year-old woman authorities say bought cocaine from an undercover sheriff's deputy to take inside the walls of the Hendry Correctional Institute was arrested Wednesday night. On Wednesday, Collier County deputies received a tip from the state Inspector General's Office in the corrections department about a cocaine delivery involving Quashie, who worked for Aramark Food Service. She was trying to get some cocaine to take into the prison for an inmate. (Naples Daily News, October 5, 2001)

Hudson County Correctional Center, Hudson County, New Jersey
September 8, 2010 The Jersey Journal
The Hudson County Board of Freeholders spent more than an hour tonight debating the merits of a food service company that is set to get a nearly $12 million contract at the Hudson County Correctional Center. Freeholder Bill O’Dea, of Jersey City, took issue with awarding the contract to Aramark Correctional Services LLC, saying the company had issues with a prior contract at Meadowview Psychiatric Hospital, resulting in a $75,000 settlement with the county last year and an agreement that the company would not bid on future contracts. County Administrator Abe Antum said the company was not prohibited from bidding on the jail food service contract, because it was a completely separate issue from Meadowview. "The performance at the correctional center was satisfactory and they were views as separate services and separate contracts,” Antum said at tonight’s freeholder meeting. Freeholder Albert Cifelli, an attorney from Kearny, noted that at $11.77 million over three years, Aramark was the lowest bidder. By law the county must award the contract to the “lowest, responsible” bidder and Cifelli questioned whether the freeholders had the authority to determine that Aramark was not “responsible” per the contract standards. Both the board’s attorney, Edward Florio, and the county administration’s attorney, Donato Battista, said it was up to the administration to determine whether or not the company was the lowest, responsible bidder and recommend the contract to the board. O’Dea said he was concerned that the company had provided psychiatric patients with prison-grade meals, instead of hospital-grade meals, as required by the Meadowview contract. But Carol Ann Wilson, county director of Health and Human Services, said the issue had to do with staff not having the state-required qualifications to run the hospital’s kitchen. She said despite telling Aramark about the failure to meet state standards, which would put the hospital in risk of losing its certification and state reimbursements, the company did not comply with the terms of the contract. Wilson said a dietitian was not always available, as required. Freeholder Jose Munoz, of West New York, said he thought Aramark was using one dietician at both the jail and Meadowview, which may have contributed to the problems. Antum said a report was compiled by Meadowview and O’Dea asked for both a copy of the report and for the settlement agreement. An Aramark representative at tonight’s meeting said the issue was the result of a bad decision made by one manager and it should not reflect on the company as a whole. Nationwide, Aramark has over 500 correctional facility food contracts. O’Dea and Freeholder Jeff Dublin, of Jersey City, tried to table the contract until they received additional information, but didn’t get any of the other seven freeholders to support their motion.

Hutchinson Correctional Facility, Hutchinson, Kansas
December 9, 2006 Hutchinson News
A former Aramark Services employee who worked inside the Hutchinson Correctional Facility was sentenced to one year, three months in prison Friday for trying to bring methamphetamine inside the prison. Joseph L. Delancy of South Hutchinson pleaded guilty to trafficking in contraband in a correctional facility, possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell and unlawfully arranging a drug sale by a commercial device. He faced up to four years, 11 months in prison. Delancy's attorney, Kerry Granger, asked for a lesser sentence and cited his client's drug use starting as "a misguided attempt to deal with the death of his son."

June 24, 2006 Hutchinson News
Drug detectives arrested a South Hutchinson man employed in the Hutchinson Correctional Facility dining hall for allegedly purchasing drugs he planned to sell to prison inmates. Joseph Lamont Delancy, 33, worked for Aramark Services, which provides food service for part of the prison. According to police reports, Delancy made phone contact with a drug enforcement detective about buying an ounce of "Ice" methamphetamine. The detective set up the drop, and Delancy allegedly arrived and accepted the drugs from the detective. The report indicates Delancy said he planned to sell the drugs in the correctional institute and attempted to set up another buy with the detective. Delancy is being held on $25,000 bond on suspicion for possession of meth with the intent to sell, a drug tax stamp violation and unlawfully arranging a sale by a commercial service.

Illinois Legislature
September 15, 2004 Sun Times
Scott Fawell, once a golden boy of Illinois politics, cut a deal with federal prosecutors Tuesday that put his lover's fate over the future of former Gov. George Ryan, a man once like a father to Fawell.
Fawell, a former top aide to Ryan, pleaded guilty to a bid-rigging scheme and is already providing prosecutors substantial assistance in their corruption case against Ryan, the Sun-Times has learned. Fawell is also giving information on Ryan's friend, Republican businessman Lawrence Warner, and other potentially high-profile investigations not yet made public. On Tuesday, Fawell pleaded guilty to leaking inside bid information in 2001 on an $11.5 million contract to oversee expansion at McCormick Place. The company that got the contract was Jacobs Facilities Inc., a client of Fawell's friend, Ronan. Fawell ordered his girlfriend, Coutretsis, to give the details to an employee of Ronan's. In Fawell's plea agreement, he admitted providing inside information to help two other Ronan clients while Fawell oversaw McCormick Place and Navy Pier -- food service giant Aramark, and LaSalle Bank, which wanted the ATM contract at Navy Pier, according to the plea and sources.

Indiana Department of Corrections
Jan 31, 2014 inthesetimes.com

When prisoners in the segregation unit at Westville Correctional Facility in Indiana received their lunch trays last Tuesday, it was, for some of them, a small taste of victory. While “savory stroganoff with noodles, mixed vegetables, and enriched bread” might not seem like much, the prisoners say it was their first hot weekday lunch in months, except on holidays. For the previous week, dozens in the unit had been protesting what they saw as inadequate food by refusing the cold sack lunches provided by the prison, according to two inmates who spoke to In These Times on condition of anonymity out of fear of reprisal from the prison. “A lot of people didn't believe that we could win,” says “Jela,” (not his real name), one of the prisoners involved in the protest. “We proved them wrong.” Barring holidays, prisoners in the maximum security unit had been receiving sack lunches instead of the usual hot meal, five days a week for approximately seven months. Indiana Department of Corrections (DOC) Public Information Officer John Schrader says the switch to the sack lunch program was a response to requests from some prisoners, and was an effort to speed meal times and free up more time for recreation and showers. But “people were losing weight, people were not getting the proper nutrients and calories,” charges “Malik,” another prisoner in the unit, who also asked to be identified by a pseudonym. Each bag contained slices of bread, peanut butter and jelly, and a cookie—“not enough,” according to Malik and Jela. In response, say Jela and Malik, prisoners began making dozens of complaints about the program, which they say went unheeded. So more than 40 inmates took part in the protest, which was inspired by prisoner actions in California and Georgia, and organized by shouting between rec rooms. For their part, corrections officials say they had only heard “one or two” complaints about the food before this month. “There were a number of complaints we got all at once,” says Schrader, “and so we said: 'we'll change what we're doing.' ” The Department of Corrections would not confirm the number of prisoners who participated in the protest. Jela says that the food problem goes further back than the cold lunch program. He claims he has seen the food worsen in quality and amount since responsibility for the menu was handed over to a private company, Aramark, in 2005. Aramark, one of the country's largest foodservice providers, has a multimillion-dollar-a-year contract with the Indiana Department of Corrections that is up for renewal in 2015. The department claims that putting food services in the hands of a private company has saved the state millions of dollars each year. However, there have been repeated complaints from prisoners. Jela says he took part in another hunger strike to protest the portion cuts shortly after Aramark took over. “It’s all about profit and all about profit motives; it's not about nutrition or nothing,” he says. Jela believes the switch to the cold bag lunches was just the latest in a long line of attempts by the company to cut costs. The case highlighted the particular problems facing people in segregation units. Many of these prisoners are barred from buying additional food from the prison commissary to supplement their meals, and so rely entirely on food from the prison, Falk says. The ACLU's case was settled last year without going to trial. “There was never an admission that anything was wrong and there was never a finding anything was wrong,” says Falk, “but I think there was enough anecdotal concern that the DOC was willing to implement fairly mild review procedures.” Those “mild review procedures” involve random checks on portions by correctional staff. That hasn't stopped Aramark and the Department of Corrections from skimping on food in other prisons, at least not according to Jela, who says restoring hot lunches at Westville was a first step, but with the food still inadequate and its quality still poor, more needs to be done. John Schilling, the executive director for contract compliance at the Indiana DOC, insists that the switch to the sack lunches was not a cost-cutting measure. According to Schilling, the state pays Aramark $1.24 for each meal it provides. However, the amount of profit the company makes from each meal is secret. “Aramark's pricing is confidential. It's what they call proprietary information,” says Schilling. He added that Aramark had expressed concern that the lunch sacks would actually increase costs. Aramark did not respond to a request for comment from In These Times. Aramark, which provides a million meals to prisoners in the United States every day, has stood accused of skimping on food before. In 2004, prisoners in New Mexico organized a hunger strike to protest food the company was providing. In 2007 state auditors in Florida found Aramark had been charging for meals it hadn't provided, and in 2009, the poor quality of food supplied by the company was blamed for riots in Kentucky's Northpoint Training Center. Apart from weight loss, Jela charges that poor-quality food has caused mental-health problems for prisoners—a major concern in Indiana's segregation units, where, according to a federal judge’s ruling last year, prisoners with mental-health issues are disproportionately represented and do not receive adequate healthcare. “When you're in the Supermax, locked-down, you're already socially isolated,” says Jela. “You're in a refrigerated cell and they're not feeding you, so you take all of that on top of each other. A lot of guys can't take that.” Jela says when prisoners in the unit harm themselves “they're trying to get some relief, or trying to get moved to a less secure facility, or really crying out for some damn help." Prisoners in the units are usually locked in their cells for 23 hours a day, with time out for exercise or showers. Jela says in this environment, the lack of food has a debilitating effect. “You're not out researching the law, you're not out filing lawsuits, you're not filing complaints, you're not doing a lot of things, because you're too cold and too hungry—so it's a form of control,” he says. Asked for comment, Westville Public Information Officer John Schrader says that medical staff keep a close eye on prisoners’ weight: “If there's a medical issue... they can document it and see how much a guy gained or lost.” Department of Corrections staff also visit prisons at least twice every four months to check that Aramark is providing the contractually agreed amounts of food. The company is supposed to provide a minimum of 2,500 calories to each prisoner every day. Menus are designed by Aramark's dieticians and approved by Schilling. “For the most part we've not had any problems whatsoever with the contract, with the meals being provided, with the nutritional values, with the product,” he says. But according to Kenneth Falk, legal director for the ACLU of Indiana, “Prisoners have an acute knowledge of how much they should be getting, and are fairly ingenious in setting up their own measurements to see if in fact they are getting the proper amount,” Falk says. He says prisoners in the segregation unit in another Indiana prison, Wabash Correctional, monitored and recorded portion sizes themselves, sometimes using makeshift measures made from polystyrene cups, and found the food wanting. Based on their complaints, the Indiana ACLU filed a lawsuit in 2011 against the state's Department of Corrections, claiming that prisoners in the Wabash segregation unit were not receiving adequate food, in violation of their Eighth Amendment rights. The lawsuit alleged that “prisoners are receiving significantly less food and calories [than] required by the contract between DOC and Aramark” and were “losing significant amounts of weight because of caloric and portion deficiencies.” According to the ACLU, complaints from prisoners were ignored, even though the department was aware of the issue.

Indiana State Prison, Michigan City, Michigan
October 27, 2009 The News-Dispatch
An Indiana State Prison offender reportedly didn't like the new heart-healthy menu recently implemented by the Indiana Department of Correction. The Michigan City prison has been on lockdown since last Tuesday, when a prisoner allegedly dropped his tray on the prison dining-room floor, according to Pam James, ISP administrative services secretary. "There was a commotion in the prison's dining room," James said, noting one person dropped his food tray on the floor. "He was peacefully making his point known. He was displeased with the quantity of the food." Although she said the complaint was about the quantity of the breakfast food, she also said the quality "wasn't that bad." But she couldn't remember the exact menu for the meal that sparked the protest. Carol Cogar went to the prison to visit her son last Thursday and learned of the lockdown. She knew it was about the food quality because she talked to her son about it earlier. "One day, he called and said it's really rank, not any good," Cogar said. James said 25 prisoners were in the dining hall during the "commotion," but she didn't elaborate on who was involved, saying only that just the one prisoner dropped a tray. According to Cogar, though, more than one person is behind the food protest. "Why would they lock the whole place down for one person?" she said. The lockdown will end, James said, when the prison is "safe and secure for the staff and offenders," but couldn't explain how that would be determined. The IDOC switched to a reduced-sodium, low-cholesterol diet Oct. 9, according to James. The new menu has 20 percent less sodium and more fruit in place of baked desserts. Five or more servings of fruits and vegetables are being served each day. The menu aims to reduce fat and cholesterol by eliminating fried foods and serving fewer high-fat menu items. The new menus were introduced this month in all 28 facilities statewide, and no other correctional facility has reported resistance from offenders, according to Doug Garrison, IDOC chief communications officer. Garrison said the revised diet should reduce the costs of treating offenders by helping prevent heart attacks and strokes. He also said lockdowns are not that unusual and are used for restoring a sense of order. "It gives people a chance to cool down," he said. "It's a relatively routine tool in corrections to reset the button." The IDOC contracts with Aramark to supply food for correctional facilities and has 10 full-time registered dietitians who review meal plans according to American Correctional Association nutritional guidelines, according to an official IDOC press release.

September 12, 2008 South Bend Tribune
A contractor was arrested Friday morning at Indiana State Prison in Michigan City for reportedly attempting to smuggle tobacco into the facility, according to a news release. During a routine search of contractors and prison employees, two bags of tobacco weighing a combined 8.8 ounces were found hidden in an Aramark food services employee’s shoes, the release stated. The employee was charged with suspicion of trafficking with an incarcerated offender, a Class A misdemeanor.

June 25, 2008 The News-Dispatch
A contractual food service employee was arrested for trafficking early Sunday morning at the Indiana State Prison when he allegedly brought marijuana into work. Thomas Fly, 25, was seen with marijuana, wrapped in plastic, falling out of his pants leg while reporting to work at 3 a.m., said Barry Nothstine, spokesman for the prison. Prison staff recovered the drug, which weighed two ounces. Indiana State Police took Fly to the La Porte County jail, where he was charged with attempting to traffic with an offender, a Class C felony, and possession of marijuana, a Class D felony. Nothstine said he did not know how long Fly had been assigned to the facility. He has been employed by ARAMARK Correctional Services since 2000. The prison has been contracted with ARAMARK for the past 18 to 24 months, he said. Nothstine said there is no indication so far as part of the investigation that Fly has brought drugs to the prison in the past. "The investigation report that I have seen does not indicate that," he said.

Jackson County Adult Detention Center, Pascagoula, Mississippi
February 26, 2009 The Mississippi Press
State health officials said they have not yet determined the cause of a salmonella outbreak earlier this month at the Jackson County Adult Detention Center, but that the illness has been contained. State Health Department spokeswoman Liz Sharlot said Wednesday that the investigation into the cause may take up to four weeks to complete. Aramark spokeswoman Sarah Jarvis said the food service company is working with state health officials in the investigation. Aramark has been the food service provider for the jail for at least 16 years, and the company purchases and prepares all food at the jail, according to the county. "There were 80 inmates who complained of flu-like symptoms, but there were only four that the hospital determined had salmonella," Jarvis said. She noted the illness could have come from something other than a food item, such as improper hand washing or improper storage of food. "We are looking at everything," she said. Sharlot confirmed 80 inmates complained of symptoms between Feb. 6 and 14 but couldn't say how many of those had salmonella.

February 19, 2009 The Mississippi Press
State Health Department officials were trying to determine Wednesday what gave 80 maximum-security inmates food poisoning beginning last week and resulted in five prisoners being taken to a local hospital this week. Liz Sharolt, director of communications with the state Health Department, said there were 80 prisoners in the Jackson County Adult Detention Center complaining of gastrointestinal illness, or salmonella sickness, from Feb. 6-14. "But, the illness has run its course, and there are no new cases to report," she said. Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd said Wednesday five inmates were taken to Singing River Hospital on Monday, where it was confirmed that they had a salmonella-related illness. The sheriff said four prisoners were treated and released Monday, but one inmate remained hospitalized Wednesday afternoon. The inmate was in good condition Wednesday, Byrd said, and should be released soon. "They mainly suffered from diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and throwing up," Byrd said. He added that two prisoners experienced a low-grade fever. Byrd said he believes the bacterial food-borne illness was not caused by peanuts or peanut butter, but possibly by lettuce. He added that ARAMARK World has been the food service provider for the jail for at least 16 years. The company purchases and prepares all food at the jail. Byrd said the international company is conducting an independent investigation. Officials with ARAMARK's home office in Philadelphia, Pa., were unavailable for comment Wednesday.

September 27, 2006 The Mississippi Press
Overcrowding at the Jackson County Adult Detention Center should ease in the near future. The Jackson County Board of Supervisors approved an additional steel fabricated facility on the ADC grounds in Pascagoula. The $1.2 million facility will house 116 inmates. It is expected to be ready in five months. Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd said relief from overcrowding is a critical issue. "We're just doing what we have to do to maintain what we have. It's very stressful. We have done shakedowns where we have found weapons which is very dangerous to officers. We had a contract employee with Aramark, we just caught her last week bringing drugs into the facility. Everyday is a challenge just to maintain things on a day to day basis," Byrd said.

Kane County Jail, Kane, Illinois
January 10, 2008 The Daily Herald
Aramark, the Kane County jail's longtime food service vendor, has come under fire by a union-affiliated group. Four representatives of the Campaign for Quality Services, a group formed by two labor organizations, on Tuesday asked the Kane County Board to examine its contract with Aramark in light of complaints against the company filed across the country. Aramark is accused of billing the Florida Department of Corrections for meals that were never prepared or eaten and failing to pass on the cost savings for serving less expensive food items to inmates, according to an analysis conducted by Florida's inspector general last year. Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez said he is aware of those and other complaints against Philadelphia-based Aramark, which has provided food to county jail inmates since at least 1996. Perez said he and his staff are evaluating Aramark and other vendors in light of the jail's pending relocation from Geneva to a new building in St. Charles Township. "Obviously moving into the new facility, we're reviewing all of our operations. The kitchen is one of them," Perez said. "It's entirely possible that we're going to open this up to bid. … This may be an opportunity for us to look and see could we get better service and could we get it for a better price." An Aramark spokeswoman dismissed the Campaign for Quality Services' concerns, saying the group is interested only in increasing union membership.

Keller School Board, Keller, Texas
November 14, 2008 Keller Citizen
Three years after assuming management of the maintenance and operations departments in the Keller school district, officials are lauding improved upkeep of facilities and savings from preventative measures and green initiatives. In September 2005, the school board voted to terminate a contract with Aramark Education to manage district maintenance, custodial and grounds workers. A survey of facilities and payroll practices showed very little preventative maintenance performed, equipment in poor condition and widespread abuse of overtime among workers. The district’s lawsuit against Aramark, filed in February, is ongoing. Aramark generally denies the district’s accusations of negligence. Shortly after the contract was ended, district administrators put an in-house management team in place and created a plan for the upkeep of facilities and systems. They limited the amount of overtime and more closely monitored employees. "It is 100 percent better than it used to be," deputy superintendent Mark Youngs said. "There is an attitude of customer service. They actually want to be of service, and the principals are giving them high marks." Youngs said that an outside management team can benefit by minimizing services, but the district’s in-house directors are trying to do as much as they can within their department budgets. David Farmer, a trustee since 1997, said he didn’t hear nearly as many complaints about facility upkeep as he heard during Aramark’s tenure. "With it being in-house, our staff members are much more directly involved in day-to-day requests," Farmer said. "There was a disconnect in the past of what needed to happen and what was happening." In an October report to the board, officials said that maintenance and operations departments are achieving improvements without a large increase in funds. The 2006-07 budget year included $1.4 million for operations; the current budget year has $1.3 million set aside for the department. Board President Bob Apetz said he was encouraged that the department could find ways to save despite the growing district. "They are looking outside the box to curtail costs and still provide all the services," Apetz said.

September 20, 2005 Star-Telegram
Keller school trustees voted unanimously Monday to fire Aramark Management Corp., a company paid more than $1 million annually to supervise custodians, grounds and maintenance in the district. Aramark has 30 days to leave the district, and district employees will take over, Assistant Superintedent Bill Stone said moments after the vote. The company was hired in September 1999 to oversee district employees, including custodians, groundskeepers and maintenance workers. Their five-year contract was renewed for another five years in 2004. But in recent months, complaints from district employees and trustees have grown. And on Aug. 17, Veitenheimer sent a letter to the company saying the district "is considering termination of the agreement."
According to the letter, about one-third of the money paid to Aramark does not cover anything tangible, but is for an "added value" the company will bring to all tasks. That value has not been realized, officials say. Custodians voice "an almost constant complaint" that they do not have the supplies and materials they need to keep buildings clean. And district officials are not certain they are getting what they pay for. The district paid Aramark just over $25,000 to furnish cleaning equipment needed at Liberty Elementary School, the district's newest campus. But guidelines suggest the typical cost for equipping a new elementary school runs $5,000 to $10,000 less, according to the letter.

Kentucky Department of Corrections
June 3, 2011 Herald-Leader
An inmate at Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex at West Liberty found a dead mouse in his soup May 1, leading to an investigation by corrections officials, according to state prison incident reports. State Rep. Brent Yonts, D-Greenville, characterized the incident as the latest problem with Philadelphia-based Aramark Correctional Services, which has a $12 million contract with the state to provide prison food. "It indicates what I call malpractice of their job," Yonts said. But Aramark spokeswoman Sarah Jarvis said the company provides good service to the state. "We have strong quality-assurance processes that ensure the high quality and safety of the meals we serve, and this has been consistently verified by the high scores we receive on independent county and industry health inspections," Jarvis said in a statement. Those inspection scores average close to 100 percent, she said. The incident occurred about 11 a.m. May 1, according to prison reports. In a written grievance, inmate Christopher Branum said that after eating some of his soup, he saw "what appeared to be a mouse leg." "I touched it with my spork (a combination spoon and fork), and it was a cooked mouse," Branum said in the grievance. Corrections officer Ronald Cantrell wrote in a report that Branum called for him and showed him the mouse 30 to 45 seconds after Cantrell served Branum lunch in his cell. "The mouse was saturated as though it had been in the soup for some time or cooked in it. The soup was still lukewarm," Corrections Capt. Paul Fugate wrote in a report. Branum, who is serving a 10-year sentence for first-degree robbery, received the prison incident documents through an open records request, said Wade McNabb, a paralegal for Spedding Law Office in Lexington. Branum gave McNabb permission to share the documents with the Herald-Leader. The prison report on the incident included a photograph of the mouse. All of the soup made that day was thrown out, and the inmates were served other food, according to the incident report compiled by Fugate. Aramark food service director Jody Sammons, in a May 12 memo, said Sammons had conducted an investigation, and "it appears the mouse was isolated to the bowl of soup in which it was found." "It was not likely that a mouse was cooked in that batch of soup," Sammons' memo said. Some inmates were immediately concerned that they would be sick after eating the soup, and they were seen by medical personnel, an incident report said. Prison medical officials also contacted a Department of Corrections physician within an hour. The physician said "the mouse would not make them sick this soon," according to the incident report. Jennifer Brislin, a spokeswoman for the Justice & Public Safety Cabinet said the staff addressed the problem immediately. "The product was pulled and discarded, and an alternative served. Medical services were made available to all inmates. After those initial actions, Warden (Gary) Beckstrom took steps to increase pest control and monitor sanitation to ensure there is no reoccurrence of this event," Brislin said. Yonts said he would be contacting corrections officials Friday to see what action they have taken. In January, Yonts asked Attorney General Jack Conway to investigate possible Aramark violations of its contract. Yonts, D-Greenville, said Aramark violated the contract last year by refusing to provide cost-related records to state auditors conducting an investigation of Aramark's contract to provide food service to inmates at Kentucky's 13 prisons. In a Feb. 10 letter to Yonts, obtained by the Herald-Leader through the state's Open Records Law, Conway said that the Finance and Administration Cabinet found that Aramark was not in breach of the contract and that Conway saw no need for a separate investigation. But Conway and state Auditor Crit Luallen want a state regulation changed to clarify that state officials — not the contractor — should determine which records are pertinent, Allison Martin, a spokeswoman for Conway, said Thursday.

April 7, 2011 Lexington Herald-Leader
It's atrocious that Dismas Charities, a non-profit that runs on millions of tax dollars, refuses a full public accounting while spending lavishly on entertainment, sports events and executive salaries. If the Louisville-based corporation, which provides transitional housing and outpatient drug treatment for inmates, could afford a luxury suite (which it gave up once exposed) and some of the highest executive salaries in its industry, maybe, just maybe, Kentucky is overpaying for its services. But, hey, who knows? As state Auditor Crit Luallen said in releasing a special examination of Dismas Charities, "Because the detailed information we requested wasn't provided to our office, we could not determine if state and federal funds were spent appropriately and the extent of other excessive or unusual expenditures." This has become something of a recurring theme. Earlier, Luallen was unable to get information requested of Aramark, the contractor that Kentucky pays $12 million a year to feed prison inmates. The Beshear administration should quickly adopt Luallen's recommendation that contracts, including no-bid contracts, contain specific language allowing the state auditor and other agencies access to pertinent records — and, this is important, the determination of what's pertinent will be made by the state, not the contractor. As Luallen said again in releasing the Dismas report, if government is going to privatize its responsibilities, the private contractors who are being paid tax dollars to provide government services should be held to the same standards of accountability and transparency as the government. If this administration or future administrations fail to impose reasonable standards of accountability and transparency on government contractors, the legislature should insist on it. Let's be clear: We're not talking about a private company that does a little government work. Dismas Charities is 97 percent funded by state and federal tax dollars. Dismas received more than $27 million in federal funds in 2009 and receives more than $7 million a year from Kentucky. It operates 28 halfway houses in 11 states. Kentucky usually inserts standard language in contracts requiring vendors and other contractors to allow state auditors access to pertinent records. (Aramark refused on the grounds that what Luallen requested was not pertinent, which is why future contracts must make clear that the state decides what is pertinent.) The Department of Corrections' excuse for excluding that standard requirement from its agreement with Dismas is that the contract was not competitively bid. Not a very reassuring explanation.

January 10, 2011 Lexington Herald-Leader
A state lawmaker wants Attorney General Jack Conway to investigate possible violations of Aramark Correctional Services' $12 million food service contract with the Kentucky Corrections Department. Rep. Brent Yonts, D-Greenville, said Aramark broke the terms of the deal last year by refusing to provide cost-related records to state auditors who were conducting their own investigation of food served to inmates at Kentucky's 13 prisons. In a Jan. 4 letter to Conway, Yonts also listed other "examples of contract breach" identified in state Auditor Crit Luallen's final report, including Aramark overbilling the state and serving old food to inmates that was not stored properly. "I believe it is obvious that the contract has not been complied with and that Aramark is in substantial breach of it," Yonts wrote. Conway spokeswoman Allison Martin on Friday said the attorney general's office is reviewing Yonts' request. Aramark spokeswoman Sarah Jarvis defended her company in a brief prepared statement but did not respond to Yonts' individual allegations. "We provide excellent service that has saved the commonwealth more than $30 million to date," Jarvis said.

October 7, 2010 Lexington Herald-Leader
An audit of the state Department of Corrections' $12 million food service contract with Aramark Correctional Services has found that the state is overpaying the company thousands of dollars a year and is not ensuring that Aramark serves the proper quantities of required ingredients or meets its obligations. State Auditor Crit Luallen released the report Thursday. The Philadelphia-based company provides food service three times a day at Kentucky's 13 state prisons. The report said: ■ Aramark declined the auditors' requests for certain cost records. ■ The audit identified more than $36,000 in overpayments to Aramark due to billing errors and non-compliance with contract provisions and said the total overpayments could exceed $130,000. It found that in most cases, billing errors and food-production problems favored Aramark rather than the state. ■ Due to poor documentation, auditors were unable to verify that Aramark consistently followed approved recipes, used the proper quantities of ingredients and met safety standards for food temperatures or use of leftovers. ■ Aramark received almost $148,000 in inmate-grown food for nearly no cost, which is not compliant with the contract. ■ The Department of Corrections does not appear to have a comprehensive contract-monitoring process. "There's a pattern of non-compliance that's raised some questions of whether or not taxpayers are getting their money's worth," Luallen said. "We can privatize services, but we can't contract out responsibility. Our recommendations will ensure the vendor is held accountable." Luallen is asking the Department of Corrections and the Finance and Administration Cabinet to determine whether Aramark is in breach of the contract for failing to submit financial documents for the audit. The auditor made 30 recommendations to the Department of Corrections for strengthening its oversight of the Aramark contract. Luallen's office was unable to review food costs, personnel costs, bonuses to vendor managers and other critical data because Aramark declined a request for direct cost information. In her response to the audit, Department of Corrections Commissioner LaDonna Thompson agreed to determine whether Aramark was in breach of the contract, agreed that billing errors had occurred and agreed that monitoring efforts should be increased. Gov. Steve Beshear and Justice and Public Safety Secretary J. Michael Brown said the Justice Cabinet would strengthen its monitoring process. But Beshear and Brown stood by the Aramark contract.

February 1, 2010 KY Post
Legislation has passed a House committee that would eliminate privatized food service for inmates at Kentucky’s prisons. The House Judiciary Committee approved House Bill 33, sponsored by Rep. Brent Yonts, D-Greenville, which would require inmate food service at the state’s prisons be turned over to the Department of Corrections at a cost of an additional $5.4 million per year. The state currently pays around $12 million a year for prison food service through Aramark. HB 33 now goes to the full House for consideration. A recent Corrections report indicates that the quality and quantity of Aramark’s food service—provided to the state at a cost of $2.63 per inmate per day—was an underlying factor in last fall’s riot at Northpoint Training Center, a state prison in Burgin. State prisons officials at last week’s meeting said restricted inmate movement at Northpoint was the main trigger of the riot.

January 29, 2010 Herald-Leader
State Auditor Crit Luallen said Thursday she would do an audit of the private company that has a nearly $12 million annual contract to serve food at the state's 13 prisons. The announcement came a day after a House committee voted to cancel a contract with Aramark Correctional Services, which served food at Northpoint Training Center at the time of a costly riot there. Also Wednesday, the state released its full investigative report on the Aug. 21 riot, which went into more detail about problems with food at the Mercer County prison. House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Rep. John Tilley, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said Thursday that they thought Luallen should look into Aramark's performance under the contract. "I do think it's appropriate to ask the state auditor in some fashion to audit the situation," Tilley said Thursday. Said Luallen: "While there has not been a formal request yet, there have been enough questions raised by legislators that we will begin to make plans to do an audit of the contract." Members of the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday voted 6-4 to cancel Aramark's contract because of concerns about the food. Many on the committee questioned whether Aramark was skimping on ingredients to serve more people cheaply. "Aramark stands behind the quality of service we provide, which has won the accolades of our clients and the national accreditation agencies who monitor the quality of food service," an Aramark spokeswoman said Wednesday. An audit conducted of Aramark's performance for the Florida prison system in 2007 showed the number of inmates eating meals declined after Aramark took over the food service. But the company was paid based on the number of inmates, not on the number of meals served. Aramark also substituted less costly products such as ground turkey for beef, the audit said. The audit recommended that Florida rebid the food service or take it over. But Aramark terminated the contract near the end of 2008, according to published reports. Gov. Steve Beshear praised prison officials' handling of the riot. He said he was "confounded" with the legislature's "continued fixation with the menus for convicted criminals when we're desperately trying to avoid cutting teachers and state troopers. ... We have more than 10 percent unemployment and Kentucky families are struggling to put food on the table, and I am loath to consider millions more dollars for criminals who wish they could go to Wendy's instead." But Tilley and Stumbo — both Democrats — defended the House's investigation into the riot, which damaged six buildings and caused a fiery melee. "The truth is, we had a riot on our hands that is probably going to cost the taxpayers $10 million," Stumbo said, referring to money Beshear has requested to rebuild the prison outside of Danville. "And we need to find out why the hell we had it." Meanwhile, there are still questions about why key parts of the original report on the riot were not immediately released in November. It was only after the House Judiciary Committee repeatedly asked to see the report that the Department of Corrections agreed to release a redacted version of the full report at Wednesday's House Judiciary Committee meeting. The report released Wednesday showed that Northpoint Warden Steve Haney did not want to implement restrictions that were a primary cause of the riot, but he was overruled by Deputy Commissioner of Adult Institutions Al Parke and Director of Operations James Erwin. The report said the handling of restrictions was "haphazard and poorly planned." The report also revealed other problems before, during and after the riot, including non-existent radio communications among agencies, a lack of documentation, failed video cameras and a considerable delay in the formal investigation. The report said there was confusion over whether Kentucky State Police or Justice Cabinet investigators should handle the post-riot investigation. Those details were not released in a summary Nov. 20. Beshear defended his administration Thursday, saying he was confident the riot was handled correctly. "I have full confidence in the Secretary of the Justice Cabinet J. Michael Brown and his staff and how they handled the Northpoint riot and its subsequent investigation," Beshear said. Kerri Richardson, a spokeswoman for Beshear, said Beshear's office never saw the original report, but had seen the report summary. Beshear's staff asked for more explanation in the summary report but did not ask for anything to be taken out, she said. Jennifer Brislin, a spokeswoman for the Department of Justice, said there was no attempt on the part of the Justice Cabinet or the Department of Corrections to hide or minimize some of the problems on the day of the riot. Department of Corrections Commissioner LaDonna Thompson left out some of those problems in her Nov. 20 summary because she thought some of those details would compromise security at the prison, Brislin said. "During her review, she exempted information that she felt would be a security risk to staff and inmates, and that included information regarding how command decisions were made," Brislin said. House Bill 33 — the bill that would cancel the Aramark contract — now heads to the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee. If the state cancels the contract, it could add as much as $5.4 million a year to the state's cost of feeding inmates, according to the Department of Corrections.

January 28, 2010 Herald-Leader
The warden at Northpoint Training Center did not want to implement the prison yard restrictions that contributed to an August riot that heavily damaged much of the facility, but he was overruled by Department of Corrections officials, according to an investigative report released Wednesday. The investigation also revealed numerous other problems at Northpoint that occurred before, during and after the riot, including inmate anger about food on the day of the riot and a crucial delay in the formal investigation of how the fiery melee occurred. After reviewing the report, the House Judiciary Committee voted 9-4 to approve a bill that would cancel the state's $12 million annual contract with Aramark Correctional Services to provide meals at 13 prisons. The investigative report showed that anger over food contributed to the Aug. 21 riot at the Mercer County prison. The report, which was withheld from the public by state officials until Wednesday, puts more emphasis on food as a contributing cause of the riot than the state Corrections Department's "review" of the investigative report, which was released Nov. 20. The review concluded that the main cause of the riot was inmate anger about a lockdown and other restrictions imposed after a fight at the prison. However, the latest report shows that virtually every inmate and employee interviewed by investigators said that Aramark food and its prices at the canteen were among the reasons for the riot. The report lists those issues as the third and fourth factors, respectively, that contributed to the riot. "Apparently, there had been complaints for years about the quality of the food, the portion sizes and the continual shortage and substitutions for scheduled menu items," the report states. "Sanitation of the kitchen was also a source of complaints," says the report. Inmates set fires that destroyed six buildings, including those containing the kitchen, canteen, visitation center, medical services, sanitation department and a multipurpose area. Several dorms were heavily damaged, and eight guards and eight inmates were injured. 'Haphazard' action -- According to the report, the riot began 15 minutes after details were posted about new movement restrictions for prisoners in the yard. The restrictions came after an Aug. 18 fight over canteen items that caused prison officials to institute a lockdown. The investigation found that Northpoint Warden Steve Haney wanted to return the prison yard to normal operations as he typically did after a lockdown, but he was overruled by Al Parke, deputy commissioner of adult institutions and James Erwin, director of operations. "The implementation of the controlled movement policy at NTC was haphazard and poorly planned at best," says the report. The report also says the warden never got word that inmates had dumped food from their trays on the floor at breakfast and at lunch on the day of the riot. Aramark officials e-mailed details of the incident to a deputy warden at Northpoint, but the information apparently was not passed along, the report said. During the riot, "radio communications between all agencies involved was virtually non-existent, causing chaos and a general feeling of disconnect with the various agencies involved," according to the report. After the riot, there was a "gross lack of coordination of submitting reports," evidence was compromised because most video cameras failed the evening of the riot, and there was a considerable delay in the formal investigation, the report said. Kentucky State Police immediately tried to begin an investigation to see which inmates were involved in the riot but was advised by the corrections department's operations director that the investigation would be conducted internally. Several days later, the report said, two staff members from the Justice Cabinet determined that state police should conduct the investigation. "The criminal investigations should have started immediately to preserve evidence, testimony and critical information," the report says. "After a few days, staff thoughts and observations became diluted."

January 21, 2010 Lexington Herald-Leader
The state agreed on Wednesday to turn over its original report on the August riot at Northpoint Training Center after nearly two weeks of denying requests for the document by lawmakers. The Department of Corrections released an investigative report of the fiery melee on Nov. 20, but not before it was edited to allegedly address security concerns. At the time, officials did not disclose that they had altered the investigative report. Legislators are hoping the original report will help them determine if food provided by a private contractor was partly to blame for the Aug. 21 riot that destroyed several buildings at the prison outside of Danville. Part of that report can be redacted for security reasons, the two sides agreed at a meeting of the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. It should be ready by next week, they agreed. The report released in November showed that the main cause of the riot was inmate anger over a lockdown and other restrictions imposed following a fight at the prison. Inmates set fires that destroyed six buildings, including those containing the kitchen, canteen, visitation center, medical services, sanitation department and a multipurpose area. Several dorms were heavily damaged, and eight guards and eight inmates were injured. Rep. Brent Yonts, D-Greenville, said Wednesday that he had heard in early January that there was another version of the report and asked the department for the original. Yonts said he had been told that the original report gave more weight to the concerns about food than the version that was released to the public. Yonts has filed a proposal -- House Bill 33 -- that would cancel the state's $12 million-a-year contract with Aramark to provide meals at 13 prisons. Aramark Correctional Services has had the state contract since 2005. It was renewed in 2009 and expires at the end of this year. Yonts has also asked State Auditor Crit Luallen to do a performance audit of the Aramark contract, but Terry Sebastian, a spokesman for Luallen, said the auditor is still waiting for a formal request from the House Judiciary Committee. Yonts said Wednesday that he expects the committee to make that request. Democratic Rep. John Tilley, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said he also had requested the original investigative report from the Department of Corrections. Corrections Commissioner LaDonna Thompson said the department didn't release the original report because it contained sensitive details about security at Northpoint. She also said the report that was released provided more details about the incident than the original report. Some members of the committee said they found the department's concerns about security unfounded. "I'm not in the habit of disclosing that information (to prisoners)," said Rep. Johnny Bell, D-Glasgow. Thompson said they were worried the information might make its way into newspapers, which prisoners read. Thompson said she was not aware that Tilley had also asked for the original information, but Tilley said that wasn't true. Tilley said he verbally requested the information from the Department of Corrections at a meeting last Friday. Thompson said she must have misunderstood Tilley's request. Yonts also complained that he has asked since this fall for grievances that inmates have filed concerning the food that Aramark provided. That request has been denied to protect the identity of the inmates, department officials said. At the hearing on Wednesday, Thompson and representatives from Aramark acknowledged that there have been complaints about food at the state's prisons but said they were generally satisfied with the quality of food that the company has provided. The contract has saved the state $5.4 million a year, Thompson said. Yonts said there have been widespread complaints about the food, including: food-borne illnesses at Western Kentucky Correctional Facility, worms being found in food and food being watered down. He said corrections officers are concerned that unrest over food quality is jeopardizing their safety. Although there have been three incidents of widespread illness at Western Kentucky Correctional Facility since 2005, Thompson said there was no conclusive evidence that any of the three incidents was caused by the food. Thompson confirmed there was one grub worm found in soup at Green River Correctional Complex. It was found before it was served to inmates, she said. "There have been other institutions that have found bugs in their food," Thompson said. Part of the problem, she said, was that produce grown at the prisons hasn't always been properly cleaned. Officials are working to correct that problem, she said. Inmate menu surveys have shown a decline in satisfaction with the food, but the percentage of food being served to inmates has increased by 10 percent, Thompson said. Tim Campbell, president of Aramark Correctional Services, told the committee that the company does solid work. "We stand by the quality of services that we provide the commonwealth," he said. Still, some legislators said there is a disconnect between the testimony they heard from officials on Wednesday and remarks made by corrections officers during a committee meeting in November. Those corrections officers said the food was barely edible and that they were concerned that discontent with the food was making the prisons unsafe. Rep. Darryl Owens, D-Louisville, said he didn't believe that those officers would lie to a legislative committee. The committee did not vote on Yonts' bill on Wednesday.

October 22, 2009 AP
Surveys of Kentucky's prison inmates indicate they are less pleased with the food they're served than they were a few years ago. The state outsourced the work in 2005 to a private company, Philadelphia-based Aramark Correctional Services. An Aramark spokeswoman says the inmates may have "self-interested motivations" for criticizing the food. The level of satisfaction was lower at Northpoint Training Center in Boyle County than among prisoners statewide. Prisoners rioted and burned much of the Northpoint complex on Aug. 21, and state Rep. Brent Yonts said corrections officers, other lawmakers and inmates have all told him that unrest "over food" figured into the riot. But Aramark officials have said there's no evidence that anything but gang violence and anger over prison yard restrictions played a role in the riot. They said their food was not a factor. The Lexington Herald-Leader obtained the survey results under the Open Records Act and reported Tuesday that early this year, state inmates rated the food 3.24 on a scale of 1 to 10, down from 5.84 in 2003. At Northpoint, the rating this year was 2.66, compared with 6.13 in 2003. Yonts, D-Greenville, has filed legislation that would cancel Aramark's $12 million annual contract with the state. State officials haven't said yet what led to the Northpoint incident. Eight guards and eight inmates suffered minor injuries. Small portions, cleanliness and food shortages were among the issues inmates often addressed in the survey. "Get rid of Aramark, bring back the state," an inmate at Roederer Correctional Complex in La Grange wrote in the anonymous 2009 survey. At the Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex, an inmate wrote, "I would like not to be hungry all the time." Jennifer Brislin, a state Justice Cabinet spokeswoman, said Tuesday that Aramark's food "meets all recommended daily allowances and dietary requirements."

Kingston High School, Kingston, New York
June 10, 2010 Daily Freeman
The Kingston High School cafeteria’s snack area was closed voluntarily by food service operator Aramark on Monday after a county health inspector found a cockroach infestation while investigating an anonymous complaint, according to county health officials and an inspection report. Cory Kassler, a senior public health sanitarian for the Ulster County Health Department, observed roaches “in various locations” when he visited the cafeteria Monday morning, but most of them were dead, the inspection report said. Kassler cited the cafeteria for a cockroach violation, and a “cleanout” was conducted later that day. The problem was solved by Tuesday, according to the report, and the snack bar was reopened. Kevin DuMond, the county’s director of environmental health, described Kassler as “meticulous” and noted that the inspector did not find any cockroaches in food or coolers. Kassler “told our cafeteria personnel and director of buildings and grounds to have the snack area cleaned and re-sprayed by our exterminator to ensure that we were in compliance with the Health Department,” school district Superintendent Gerard Gretzinger said via e-mail on Wednesday. On Tuesday, Gretzinger referred to rumors of a cockroach problem in the high school cafeteria as “much misinformation.” “When (the inspector) visited on Tuesday morning, I am told that we were given a clean bill of health,” Gretzinger said on Wednesday. Insect infestation “related to any food work” is considered a public health issue because bugs find their way into food and pieces of them can cause respiratory problems, said Dr. La Mar Hasbrouck, Ulster County’s public health director. On the spectrum of major to minor threats to public health, Hasbrouck said cockroaches are closer to the minor side. Hasbrouck said food-preparation operations always have the potential to attract pests, and he described the school district as being proactive in expunging the nuisances. “If they continue doing their due diligence in terms of cleanup and inspections, it should be just fine,” he said. He also noted school districts are limited in what types of pesticides they can use to deter cockroaches. Kelly Dachenhausen, a parent of a Kingston High School student, said she heard rumors about a cockroach problem but that but when she called for information on Tuesday, she was transferred to the kitchen at J. Watson Bailey Middle School and her questions were not answered. “I just wanted to make sure what I was giving my son was healthy,” she said. Gretzinger, commenting on his remark Tuesday about “misinformation,” said on Wednesday that he was sharing what he knew at the time. “Never was it reported to me that there was an ‘infestation’ of roaches, and definitely no roaches were found in food,” he said.

Lee County Jail, Sanford, North Carolina
November 3, 2005 Sanford Herald
District Attorney Tom Lock will not pursue charges against a former Lee County Jail kitchen employee, who was under investigation for allegedly buying food with jail funds and using them in his private catering business. Lock asked the State Bureau of Investigation to conduct a probe into the issue after it was brought to him in March by Herb Hincks, the chairman of the Lee County Board of Commissioners, who told Lock that he'd heard that the chief cook at the jail was diverting jail food to his own business. "After reviewing the SBI's report, I have concluded that there is no credible evidence upon which to lodge any criminal charges against the suspect," Lock said in a press release on Tuesday. Lock said the SBI reviewed a number of "suspicious" receipts and invoices for food purchases from various food vendors, interviewed Hincks, as well as county commissioners Amy Stevens and Ed Paschal, Lee County Finance Director Lisa Minter and finally the suspect. There was at least some evidence that Hincks' concerns were shared by others: n Both Stevens and Paschal told the SBI they'd heard similar allegations against the suspect on a second-hand basis. n Minter told the SBI that she had concerns about what the county was paying for meals in the jail compared to other counties. But Lock said that there was "no substance" to the allegations. Lock said some of the most compelling evidence came from the suspect himself, whom neither Lock nor sheriff's department officials would identify other than by his title, "chief cook." Lock's press release indicates the cook "denied stealing any food from the Lee County Jail or diverting any food products for the jail to his personal catering business." Lock also said the suspect submitted to an SBI polygraph test in August and passed it. The suspect still works in the jail's kitchen, but not as a county employee. In the summer, the board of commissioners voted to contract all kitchen duties to Aramark, a private company. Bryant said he's not sure if it saves the county money, but he likes the arrangement.

October 2, 2005 Sanford Herald
District Attorney Tom Lock says his review of the investigation into whether an employee with the Lee County Jail illegally diverted food to his own catering business is nearly finished. The allegation is that the jail kitchen employee, who runs a private catering business, was ordering food through the jail and taking it to use at his own business. The employee, who has not been named publicly by either the sheriff's department or by Lock, still works at the jail but not as a county employee, according to Kevin Bryant, chief deputy of the Lee County Sheriff's Office. Rather, he now works for Aramark, a company the county began contracting with for food services in the spring.

September 5, 2005 Sanford Herald
State Bureau of Investigation officials are promising to deliver a report about the possible misuse of food supplies at the Lee County Jail to the district attorney in the near future. SBI agents have been investigating a former jail employee for several months on suspicion that he diverted food from the jail to his private catering service. At the onset of the investigation in March, SBI agents said it would take them a matter of days to resolve the matter and hand a report to District Attorney Tom Lock. Six months later, SBI Agent Jerry Weaver says a report will be handed to Lock "soon."

August 9, 2005 Sanford Herald
A State Bureau of Investigation probe into a former Lee County Jail employee is still ongoing. The investigation began in March and, at the time, SBI officials said it would take three to four days to complete. District Attorney Tom Lock asked the SBI in March to investigate allegations that a jail cook was ordering food through the jail and then diverting some of it toward his own private catering service. The employee - who still works in the jail's kitchen but no longer as a county employee after Lee County commissioners voted to contract with Aramark for food service in the jail - has not been publicly identified.

Mammoth County Jail, Mammoth County, New Jersey
April 10, 2009 Asbury Park Press
A new vendor will begin serving up meals to Monmouth County inmates and youth detainees May 1, thanks to last month's ruling by a Superior Court judge that county officials erred in awarding a three-year contract to a higher bidder. Gourmet Dining LLC of Madison will take over the work — but only after the county makes one final payment to rival vendor Aramark Correctional Services LLC for providing the food service while the contract was in dispute. The county freeholders on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution paying Aramark $729,000 for service from the start of the year until April 30. The amount covers 488,000 Monmouth County Jail staff and inmate meals at $1.35 per serving and 733 religious meals at $3.82 each; plus 21,500 detainee and staff meals at $2.92 each at the Youth Detention Center. Both facilities are in Freehold Township. "The resolution is necessary as part of the court decision to change vendors, because Aramark continued vending services past the date of the former contract," Purchasing Director Gerri C. Popkin said.

March 6, 2009 Asbury Park Press
A Superior Court judge has set aside a prison food contract award to Aramark and ordered the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders to pass a resolution giving the work to a lower bidder, Gourmet Dining LLC of Madison. Judge James P. Hurley said the freeholders -- acting on a recommendation from the Sheriff's Department -- were wrong to toss out Gourmet Dining's bid on the basis of lacking substantial experience from past work in prisons. Gourmet Dining's attorney, Thomas P. Scrivo, argued during a Feb. 18 hearing that the company had served over 40 million meals when it held Essex County jail contracts from 1991 to 2004. "Gourmet's 13 years of experience providing on-site meals speaks to Gourmet's compliance with the specifications,'' the judge said in his written decision issued today. County taxpayers will be on the hook for legal fees from the case but will save money on the change in contract. The county will pay $155,360 less annually than it would have paid Aramark, and could save $466,000 over the life of the three-year contract. The contract also allows for two one-year renewals. Aramark held the previous contract that expired in December and has continued as the vendor during the period of dispute. Gourmet Dining's one-year bid price is $2,836,514 compared to Aramark's $2,992,000. Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Cynthia Scott said no date has been selected for the change in vendors to occur. "The freeholders still have to act by resolution but as a practical matter we plan to move forward with a smooth transition,'' Scott said. "The Monmouth County Sheriff's Office always welcomes competition and plans to work closely with Gourmet Dining to ensure that the comparable level of quality and quantity of food services will be maintained at the jail.'' The case was heard in Superior Court in Middlesex County after being transferred from Monmouth County.

February 10, 2009 Asbury Park Press
Arguments will be heard by a Superior Court judge today over whether Monmouth County should be ordered to reopen its $3 million contract award for prison food so that a lower bidder can be considered for the work. Acting on the recommendations of the Sheriff's Office and county purchasing officials, the county freeholders voted unanimously in December to award the contract to feed inmates at the Monmouth County jail and youth detention center to Aramark, a Philadelphia-based company that has held the contract since 1991. Gourmet Dining of Madison submitted a bid of $2.5 million, about 18 percent lower than Aramark's bid, but the low bid was rejected because county officials said the company lacked jail experience. However, Gourmet Dining attorneys are expected to argue today the company served some 42 million meals to inmates in the Essex County jail system from 1991 to 2004. The case will be heard by Middlesex County Superior Court Judge James P. Hurley. The challenge was filed by Gourmet Dining in Monmouth County, then transferred to Middlesex.

Meadowview Psychiatric Hospital, Meadowview, New Jersey
September 8, 2010 The Jersey Journal
The Hudson County Board of Freeholders spent more than an hour tonight debating the merits of a food service company that is set to get a nearly $12 million contract at the Hudson County Correctional Center. Freeholder Bill O’Dea, of Jersey City, took issue with awarding the contract to Aramark Correctional Services LLC, saying the company had issues with a prior contract at Meadowview Psychiatric Hospital, resulting in a $75,000 settlement with the county last year and an agreement that the company would not bid on future contracts. County Administrator Abe Antum said the company was not prohibited from bidding on the jail food service contract, because it was a completely separate issue from Meadowview. "The performance at the correctional center was satisfactory and they were views as separate services and separate contracts,” Antum said at tonight’s freeholder meeting. Freeholder Albert Cifelli, an attorney from Kearny, noted that at $11.77 million over three years, Aramark was the lowest bidder. By law the county must award the contract to the “lowest, responsible” bidder and Cifelli questioned whether the freeholders had the authority to determine that Aramark was not “responsible” per the contract standards. Both the board’s attorney, Edward Florio, and the county administration’s attorney, Donato Battista, said it was up to the administration to determine whether or not the company was the lowest, responsible bidder and recommend the contract to the board. O’Dea said he was concerned that the company had provided psychiatric patients with prison-grade meals, instead of hospital-grade meals, as required by the Meadowview contract. But Carol Ann Wilson, county director of Health and Human Services, said the issue had to do with staff not having the state-required qualifications to run the hospital’s kitchen. She said despite telling Aramark about the failure to meet state standards, which would put the hospital in risk of losing its certification and state reimbursements, the company did not comply with the terms of the contract. Wilson said a dietitian was not always available, as required. Freeholder Jose Munoz, of West New York, said he thought Aramark was using one dietician at both the jail and Meadowview, which may have contributed to the problems. Antum said a report was compiled by Meadowview and O’Dea asked for both a copy of the report and for the settlement agreement. An Aramark representative at tonight’s meeting said the issue was the result of a bad decision made by one manager and it should not reflect on the company as a whole. Nationwide, Aramark has over 500 correctional facility food contracts. O’Dea and Freeholder Jeff Dublin, of Jersey City, tried to table the contract until they received additional information, but didn’t get any of the other seven freeholders to support their motion.

Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas
August 24, 2009 My Fox Houston
The family of a state worker hit and killed a year ago by an Aramark manager has filed a lawsuit against Aramark and three of the bartenders who served the employee. David Hall, 40, was hit last year while working in downtown Houston last August. Prosecutors say Aramark Manager Ray Wilson was driving drunk after leaving a game at Minute Maid Park. It was there where investigators say Wilson was given free drinks, which led to the crash which claimed Hall's life. A lawsuit was filed by Hall's family on Monday in civil court. Wilson was found guilty in the death of hall just last week. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison. In a statement issued to the media, President, ARAMARK Sports, Entertainment & Conventions Marc Bruno said: "Our sincere sympathies go out to Mr. Hall's family and friends. We have not yet seen the lawsuit and are therefore not in a position to comment on it."

August 18, 2009 Houston Chronicle
Jurors sentenced a Pasadena man who worked at Minute Maid Park to 15 years in prison Tuesday for killing a state worker while driving drunk minutes after leaving a baseball game last year. Ray John Wilson, 72, a supervisor for corporate caterer Aramark who worked at the downtown ballpark, was leaving an Aug. 30, 2008, game when he veered around a Texas Department of Transportation truck hitting David Hall Jr., 42, a road worker, who was assisting a cleanup crew. Wilson's attorney's argued that he should get probation despite a DWI conviction 15 years ago and a public intoxication in 2003 when police found him passed out in his car. “He's already pushing the edge of the actuarial tables, so 10 years probation would be probation for life,” defense attorney Dorian Cotlar told jurors in closing arguments. Because the jury decided the car was used as a deadly weapon, Wilson will not be eligible for parole until he serves at least half of his sentence. They deliberated punishment in state District Judge Susan Brown's court for about 45 minutes and also fined him $10,000. After he struck Hall, Wilson continued for about a quarter of a mile before he was stopped by a police officer in an unmarked car, prosecutors said. Investigators said Wilson failed a field sobriety test, and his blood alcohol content exceeded the legal limit. Assistant Harris County District Attorney Ryan Patrick reminded jurors that Wilson, who was at the game on a date, was drinking for free while being served by employees he supervised. An investigation by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission found substantial evidence that Aramark, which holds the ballpark's concessions contract including selling alcohol, conducted business in a way that led to the fatality, said TABC Capt. Rick Cruz. Cruz said Aramark's beer and wine license is in jeopardy of being pulled, but the corporation's liquor license, which also allows them to sell beer and wine, would not be affected — meaning Minute Maid Park would not go dry and patrons would not notice a difference. Calls to Aramark were not immediately returned.

August 11, 2009 Examiner
Jurors have begun hearing evidence in the trial of a man, accused of killing a TXDOT worker and putting the Minute Maid Park liquor license in jeopardy. Ray Wilson, 72 of Pasadena, is charged with felony Intoxication Manslaughter and felony Hit and Run for the August 30, 2008 death of 42-year-old TXDOT worker David Hall. Hall was working near University of Houston at the Travis onramp to I-45 North when Wilson is accused of smashing through the roadblocks and running him down. Police caught Wilson a short distance from the scene. Wilson sat in the courtroom today as jurors started hearing the first witnesses testify against him. A gag order is in effect, so lawyers involved in the case said they were not able to comment. Sources involved in the investigation said a mandatory blood draw after the crash showed Wilson had a Blood Alcohol Content of .14, which is nearly double the legal limit. He refused all sobriety tests in the field, according to police. Investigators told KPRC Local 2 Investigates that Wilson was the guest of honor at a party during the ballgame at Minute Maid Park, where fellow employees with Aramark told investigators they gave him six to eight free drinks. Aramark is the primary vendor that holds a liquor license for serving at the Astros ballpark. The Astros have declined to comment as the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission moves forward with an administrative case against Aramark's liquor license at the ballpark.

June 11, 2009 Fox 26 News
FOX 26 News has learned the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission may be going after at least one of the liquor licenses at Minute Maid Park. This comes almost a year after an Aramark manager was involved in a drunken driving crash that claimed the life of a Houston man. Aramark is the food and beverage vendor for Minute Maid Park. In that August 2008 crash, David Hall Jr. was allegedly hit and killed by 70-year-old Ray John Wilson, who had just left the Astros game. Sources close to the investigation tell FOX 26 News the beverage commission may attempt to file a civil case to have at least one of the alcohol licenses pulled at the ballpark. Sgt. Mike Burnett with the beverage commission would not comment on camera. However, he did say there is an administrative case against the vendor Aramark, the license holder at the ballpark. Wilson has been behind bars at the Harris County Jail since the crash last year. He's set to go on trial next month for manslaughter. Hall Jr.'s father says he would like to see the liquor license at the stadium pulled. He says not only the driver but those who sell the drinks are ultimately responsible. FOX 26 News called management at the Astros for comment, and they referred us to Aramark. Officials with Aramark issued the following response: "We take the responsible service of alcoholic beverages very seriously and have industry-leading standards in place at each venue where we provide food and beverage services. We do not comment on pending matters."

Monroe County Correctional Facility, Monroe County, Pennsylvania
September 10, 2009 Pocono Record
A new company is serving meals to inmates and staff and the Monroe County Correctional Facility. Canteen Correctional Services, a division of Compass Group USA, has been doing the cooking since Sept. 1. Canteen was awarded a three-year contract at $622,388 per year, replacing Aramark, which had been employed at the Snydersville jail for five years. Staff members are happy with the new menu and larger portions, says Acting Warden Donna Asure. "We've gotten great comments," said Asure, who also is a county commissioner. "The staff is satisfied with the staff meals." Four Canteen employees, assisted by inmates who apply for positions, prepare about 1,200 meals daily in the prison kitchen. Inmates eat in the day rooms of their assigned units. Staff members eat in the employee dining room. Aramark was the subject of at least a few complaints before losing its bid for a renewed contract. "We have had several complaints," Asure said. "We tried to work things out." The county has options to extend Canteen's contract beyond the current three years, she said.

Monterey County Jail, Monterey, California
January 11, 2006 The Salinas Californian
Illness has spread at the Monterey County Jail, leaving about 75 inmates with diarrhea and stomach cramping in what the county Health Department says might be a food-borne outbreak. Reports of sickness at the jail infirmary started Sunday, and by Monday morning, 20 inmates had complained of diarrhea and bloody stool, the jail announced. As of Monday night, 75 cases had been reported, the Sheriff's Office said. "We can be pretty confident that it's a food-borne illness," said John Ramirez, assistant director of environmental health at the Monterey County Health Department. The jail had another outbreak in June, when at least 112 inmates complained of flu-like symptoms including nausea, diarrhea and high fever. Investigators determined that infection began after some inmates hoarded food to make tamales that later became spoiled, Liebersbach said. As of now, it appears the illness might have started with a chicken dish that was improperly cooked, he said. The jail's Philadelphia-based food provider, Aramark, did not return calls on the incident.

Morgan County Correctional Complex, Wartburg, Tennessee
July 20, 2010 AP
A Morgan County inmate acting as his own lawyer has convinced a federal appeals court to reverse the dismissal of his suit against a private prison contractor. According to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling, Robert Vaughn Bruce injured his knee in September 2002 when he fell from a trash truck. The attending physician recommended immediate surgery but he was instead given pain medicine and crutches. Bruce claims Correctional Medical Services, Inc. ignored his need for surgery for almost five years, a delay that made knee replacement necessary and caused his knee to become permanently impaired. A district judge had dismissed the suit. On Wednesday, the appeals court remanded the case to the district judge, allowing Bruce to respond to the company's motion for summary judgment and ordering the judge to consider the arguments.

Morris County Jail, New Jersey
June 23, 2005
In the usual scenario, people caught using heroin go to jail, but last week authorities discovered the obverse is also true: People who go to jail get caught using heroin.  Two women, Mount Olive Township resident and former state prisoner Karen Ryerson, 42, and Newark resident Leslie Harwell, 36, a worker in the Morris County Jail cafeteria, were charged with heroin distribution.  Harwell is employed by Aramark, a Pennsylvania-based food service company. She was arrested Sunday after allegedly selling drugs inside the jail, according to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.  She was charged with possession of heroin and possession with intent to distribute. She is being held in a cell in the jail where she worked on $50,000 bail.  Ryerson was arrested Monday after authorities determined she had been the supplier of the heroin to Harwell. She was charged with possession of heroin and heroin distribution. She is being held in the Morris County jail on $100,000 bail.  According to the Prosecutor’s Office, a corrections internal affairs officer had learned last Thursday that Harwell was allegedly selling the drugs. Harwell was allegedly able to bring in the drugs because employees are not searched upon entry, Rubbinaccio said. Harwell has been employed at the jail since mid-May. Aramark employees prepare food in the jail’s kitchen and help train inmates in food preparation. She has no criminal record, Rubbinaccio said.

New Mexico Department of Corrections
May 31, 2006 New Mexican
A state prison contractor involved in the investigation of a relationship between Corrections Secretary Joe Williams and a lobbyist contributed $10,000 to Gov. Bill Richardson's re-election campaign. The political-action committee for Aramark -- a Philadelphia-based company that makes millions of dollars a year to feed New Mexico inmates -- contributed to Richardson's campaign in May 2005, according to Richardson's most recent campaign-finance report. That was about a year after Aramark renewed its contract with the state Corrections Department. Aramark also has been generous to the state Democratic Party, contributing $10,000 in 2004, and the Democratic Governors Association, which Richardson chairs. The company contributed a total of $15,000 to the DGA in 2004 and another $15,000 in 2005, according to reports filed with the Internal Revenue Service. Aramark provides food service to more than 475 correctional institutions in North America. The corporation also has food-service contracts in colleges, hospitals, convention centers and stadiums. Richardson spokesman Pahl Shipley referred questions about the campaign donation to Richardson's campaign manager, Amanda Cooper, who couldn't be reached for comment. The Governor's Office announced this week that Williams is being put on administrative leave while the state Personnel Office investigates his relationship with Ann E. Casey, who registered as a lobbyist for Aramark and Wexford Health Services, which provides health care to New Mexico inmates. Casey is an assistant warden at an Illinois prison. A copyrighted story in the Albuquerque Journal said Williams' state-issued cell-phone records show 644 calls between Williams and Casey between Sept. 24, 2005, and Feb. 23. According to that report, Casey was hired as a consultant by Aramark in 2005, but that contract has since been terminated. Aramark's $5.4 million contract ends in July. The Secretary of State Office's Lobbyist Index lists Casey as a lobbyist for Wexford, though the Journal report quotes a Wexford official saying the company never hired her. In 2004, a $10,000 contribution to a Richardson political committee from Wexford's parent company caused a stir and later was returned to the Pittsburgh company. The Bantry Group made the contribution to Richardson's Moving America Forward PAC in April 2004. This was during a bidding process just a month after the Corrections Department requested proposals for a contract to provide health care and psychiatric services to inmates. That contract potentially is worth more than $100 million, The Associated Press reported. In August 2004, a Richardson spokesman said the money would be returned "to avoid even the appearance of impropriety."

May 30, 2006 AP
Gov. Bill Richardson has put Corrections Secretary Joe Williams on unpaid leave while the secretary's recent actions are investigated. Richardson said the review will focus on Williams' use of a state-issued cell phone, a state-funded trip that included some personal travel and his relationship with a lobbyist. "Gov. Richardson wants a thorough investigation to examine the secretary's actions and determine if anything improper occurred," said James Jimenez, Richardson's chief of staff. "The governor sets a very high ethical standard for his administration and will not tolerate any level of abuse of authority or public trust." A spokeswoman for the Corrections Department said Williams was unavailable for comment. State Personnel Director Sandra Perez will conduct the investigation through her office, Jimenez said. Williams will be on unpaid leave until June 9, the day Perez's office is to report to the governor. The Albuquerque Journal reported Sunday that Williams spent about 91 hours on his state-issued cell phone talking with Ann Casey, an assistant warden at a state prison in Centralia, Ill. The calls between the two phones were placed between Sept. 24, 2005, and Feb. 23, 2006. Casey registered as a lobbyist in 2005 for two companies that have contracts with New Mexico to provide health care and meals to prisoners. Williams described his relationship with Casey as a friendship and said he doesn't give preferential treatment to anybody. Richardson also is questioning a trip Williams took to Nashville on the state's dollar. In January, Williams attended a conference of the American Correctional Association. His travel records show he added a St. Louis leg to the trip, which he said was personal. A 30-mile drive from the St. Louis airport would land Williams at an address in O'Falcon, Ill., which Casey listed on lobbyist registration forms. Records show Williams wrote a check to his department in January for $266, the cost of adding the St. Louis trip. While on the trip, Williams and Casey accepted a dinner invitation from a company that operates a state prison in Santa Rosa, according to Williams' e-mail records. A billing statement for a hotel stay during the trip also lists two people in his party, but Williams would not say who the second person was. Richardson appointed Williams, a former warden at the Lea County Correctional Facility in Hobbs and former warden at two state prisons, as corrections secretary in 2003.

Prison food is not supposed to taste great, but inmates in two state-correction institutions said this week that their food had taken a turn for the worse in recent days while inmates in a third facility staged a widespread boycott of meals earlier this week.  Only 44 of the 330 inmates at the minimum-security facility in Los Lunas showed up for lunch Wednesday because of complaints about the food, Corrections Department spokeswoman Tia Bland confirmed Thursday.  "We've had nothing but ground turkey for days," an inmate at the state prison in Las Cruces told a reporter Thursday. "It's terrible. You can't eat some of this stuff."  Meanwhile, an inmate at the state prison in Grants said his prison kitchen has been serving a soy-meat substitute, which he described as tasting like cardboard .  Under that new contract, the company receives about 20 cents less for each meal served.  "That does change what is offered," Albert said.  (The New Mexican, July 9, 2004)

North Elementary School, Godfrey, Illinois
August 22, 2006 The Telegraph
A part-time custodian with Aramark, the firm hired last year to clean Alton schools, was charged Monday with felony theft for allegedly stealing four laptop computers from North Elementary School. William D. Gray, 53, of the 1200 block of Rodemeyer Street, Alton, was charged after school staff members noticed the computers missing over a period of weeks and called the Madison County Sheriff's Department. Bail was set at $30,000. Lt. Brad Wells said Gray is suspected of carrying the computers out of the building in trashcans and placing them in bins outside the building, then returning later to take them from the bins to his house. The school is located at 5600 Godfrey Road. Two of the computers were found in Gray's home after he was arrested Friday. The most recent computer theft was reported Friday, Wells said. He said he is not sure of the total value of the computers, but it is well over $300, which qualifies the thefts as a felony. The Alton School Board last year signed a contract with Aramark in a move to save about $1 million a year. The Alton Education Association reluctantly agreed to drop the custodians from its bargaining unit in exchange for a promise of 10 percent pay raises over four years. The staff of custodians was reduced from 52 to 42 employees. A survey of school employees later rated Aramark 3.2 on a scale of 5, prompting complaints from board member Ed Gray that the firm was not keeping the schools clean enough.

Northhampton County Prison, Easton, Pennsylvania
November 19, 2005 The Express-Times
Six Northampton County Prison guards sickened by exposure to mold filed notice Friday of their intent to sue the county and several past and present county officials. A construction company, an environmental cleanup contractor and a food services corporation are also named as defendants in the document. The plaintiffs suffered both respiratory and gastrointestinal infections after an ongoing expansion at the jail stirred up mold that contaminated the air and food there, according to their attorney, John P. Karoly Jr. County officials have long known mold is a problem at the prison, but did not act quickly enough to fix it, he said. Also, Karoly said his clients meals were fouled by mold because of flaws in the jail food service provider's storage and preparation methods. The county is trying to cover up the mold problem, he said. "These plaintiffs have been attempting to get more information about what they've been exposed to and they've been denied that information." All of the men have received medical treatment for their illnesses and a few of them were hospitalized, Karoly said. They continue to work at the prison, he said. Northampton County Executive Glenn Reibman, who is named in the notice, did not return a phone call for comment Friday evening. Other defendants named in the notice are former Director of Corrections James Smith, Director of Corrections Todd Buskirk, Acting Warden Scott Hoke, Daniel J. Keating Construction Company, of Philadelphia, CMC Environmental Hazard Abatement Inc., of Jim Thorpe, Pa., and Aramark Correctional Services, Inc., of Philadelphia. In 2003, state prison inspectors found moldy areas and moisture-related damage in the prison. The mold was blamed on a leaky shower system in one of the cell blocks. At the time officials acknowledged that the mold was a "very serious" health risk and said they intended to replace the shower system.

August 9, 2005 The Morning Call
Northampton County Prison has stored food in a bathroom, did not have hot water or soap for kitchen workers to wash their hands and used refrigerators not cold enough to safely store food. The conditions are revealed in the Easton Health Bureau's inspection records of 2004 and 2005, which were released last week to The Morning Call following a legal challenge by the newspaper to the city's refusal to make the records public. City inspector Ed Ferraro, interviewed about the city's inspection of prison conditions, described the violations as so severe that, had they been found in a private business, he would have asked the owner to close voluntarily until problems were corrected. Like other food establishments, county prisons are covered by a patchwork of agencies. And just like restaurants and food retailers, some prisons are inspected more often than others and score better or worse than others. Northampton County Prison failed two categories in its 2004 inspection by state officials, which is separate from inspections done by the city. It failed to meet general cleanliness standards because of missing and damaged floor tiles, and it failed to provide health exams to kitchen workers to ensure they are disease-free. While maintaining a clean kitchen is ultimately the responsibility of Northampton County Prison administrators, the county pays a private company, Aramark, to run its food services. Aramark is responsible for how the kitchen runs on a daily basis, Buskirk and Hoke said, and violations such as storing chicken and roast beef at room temperature and storing boxes of dry food in the bathroom would fall under Aramark's responsibility.

Northpoint Training Center, Boyle County, Kentucky
January 29, 2010 Herald-Leader
State Auditor Crit Luallen said Thursday she would do an audit of the private company that has a nearly $12 million annual contract to serve food at the state's 13 prisons. The announcement came a day after a House committee voted to cancel a contract with Aramark Correctional Services, which served food at Northpoint Training Center at the time of a costly riot there. Also Wednesday, the state released its full investigative report on the Aug. 21 riot, which went into more detail about problems with food at the Mercer County prison. House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Rep. John Tilley, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said Thursday that they thought Luallen should look into Aramark's performance under the contract. "I do think it's appropriate to ask the state auditor in some fashion to audit the situation," Tilley said Thursday. Said Luallen: "While there has not been a formal request yet, there have been enough questions raised by legislators that we will begin to make plans to do an audit of the contract." Members of the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday voted 6-4 to cancel Aramark's contract because of concerns about the food. Many on the committee questioned whether Aramark was skimping on ingredients to serve more people cheaply. "Aramark stands behind the quality of service we provide, which has won the accolades of our clients and the national accreditation agencies who monitor the quality of food service," an Aramark spokeswoman said Wednesday. An audit conducted of Aramark's performance for the Florida prison system in 2007 showed the number of inmates eating meals declined after Aramark took over the food service. But the company was paid based on the number of inmates, not on the number of meals served. Aramark also substituted less costly products such as ground turkey for beef, the audit said. The audit recommended that Florida rebid the food service or take it over. But Aramark terminated the contract near the end of 2008, according to published reports. Gov. Steve Beshear praised prison officials' handling of the riot. He said he was "confounded" with the legislature's "continued fixation with the menus for convicted criminals when we're desperately trying to avoid cutting teachers and state troopers. ... We have more than 10 percent unemployment and Kentucky families are struggling to put food on the table, and I am loath to consider millions more dollars for criminals who wish they could go to Wendy's instead." But Tilley and Stumbo — both Democrats — defended the House's investigation into the riot, which damaged six buildings and caused a fiery melee. "The truth is, we had a riot on our hands that is probably going to cost the taxpayers $10 million," Stumbo said, referring to money Beshear has requested to rebuild the prison outside of Danville. "And we need to find out why the hell we had it." Meanwhile, there are still questions about why key parts of the original report on the riot were not immediately released in November. It was only after the House Judiciary Committee repeatedly asked to see the report that the Department of Corrections agreed to release a redacted version of the full report at Wednesday's House Judiciary Committee meeting. The report released Wednesday showed that Northpoint Warden Steve Haney did not want to implement restrictions that were a primary cause of the riot, but he was overruled by Deputy Commissioner of Adult Institutions Al Parke and Director of Operations James Erwin. The report said the handling of restrictions was "haphazard and poorly planned." The report also revealed other problems before, during and after the riot, including non-existent radio communications among agencies, a lack of documentation, failed video cameras and a considerable delay in the formal investigation. The report said there was confusion over whether Kentucky State Police or Justice Cabinet investigators should handle the post-riot investigation. Those details were not released in a summary Nov. 20. Beshear defended his administration Thursday, saying he was confident the riot was handled correctly. "I have full confidence in the Secretary of the Justice Cabinet J. Michael Brown and his staff and how they handled the Northpoint riot and its subsequent investigation," Beshear said. Kerri Richardson, a spokeswoman for Beshear, said Beshear's office never saw the original report, but had seen the report summary. Beshear's staff asked for more explanation in the summary report but did not ask for anything to be taken out, she said. Jennifer Brislin, a spokeswoman for the Department of Justice, said there was no attempt on the part of the Justice Cabinet or the Department of Corrections to hide or minimize some of the problems on the day of the riot. Department of Corrections Commissioner LaDonna Thompson left out some of those problems in her Nov. 20 summary because she thought some of those details would compromise security at the prison, Brislin said. "During her review, she exempted information that she felt would be a security risk to staff and inmates, and that included information regarding how command decisions were made," Brislin said. House Bill 33 — the bill that would cancel the Aramark contract — now heads to the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee. If the state cancels the contract, it could add as much as $5.4 million a year to the state's cost of feeding inmates, according to the Department of Corrections.

January 28, 2010 Herald-Leader
The warden at Northpoint Training Center did not want to implement the prison yard restrictions that contributed to an August riot that heavily damaged much of the facility, but he was overruled by Department of Corrections officials, according to an investigative report released Wednesday. The investigation also revealed numerous other problems at Northpoint that occurred before, during and after the riot, including inmate anger about food on the day of the riot and a crucial delay in the formal investigation of how the fiery melee occurred. After reviewing the report, the House Judiciary Committee voted 9-4 to approve a bill that would cancel the state's $12 million annual contract with Aramark Correctional Services to provide meals at 13 prisons. The investigative report showed that anger over food contributed to the Aug. 21 riot at the Mercer County prison. The report, which was withheld from the public by state officials until Wednesday, puts more emphasis on food as a contributing cause of the riot than the state Corrections Department's "review" of the investigative report, which was released Nov. 20. The review concluded that the main cause of the riot was inmate anger about a lockdown and other restrictions imposed after a fight at the prison. However, the latest report shows that virtually every inmate and employee interviewed by investigators said that Aramark food and its prices at the canteen were among the reasons for the riot. The report lists those issues as the third and fourth factors, respectively, that contributed to the riot. "Apparently, there had been complaints for years about the quality of the food, the portion sizes and the continual shortage and substitutions for scheduled menu items," the report states. "Sanitation of the kitchen was also a source of complaints," says the report. Inmates set fires that destroyed six buildings, including those containing the kitchen, canteen, visitation center, medical services, sanitation department and a multipurpose area. Several dorms were heavily damaged, and eight guards and eight inmates were injured. 'Haphazard' action -- According to the report, the riot began 15 minutes after details were posted about new movement restrictions for prisoners in the yard. The restrictions came after an Aug. 18 fight over canteen items that caused prison officials to institute a lockdown. The investigation found that Northpoint Warden Steve Haney wanted to return the prison yard to normal operations as he typically did after a lockdown, but he was overruled by Al Parke, deputy commissioner of adult institutions and James Erwin, director of operations. "The implementation of the controlled movement policy at NTC was haphazard and poorly planned at best," says the report. The report also says the warden never got word that inmates had dumped food from their trays on the floor at breakfast and at lunch on the day of the riot. Aramark officials e-mailed details of the incident to a deputy warden at Northpoint, but the information apparently was not passed along, the report said. During the riot, "radio communications between all agencies involved was virtually non-existent, causing chaos and a general feeling of disconnect with the various agencies involved," according to the report. After the riot, there was a "gross lack of coordination of submitting reports," evidence was compromised because most video cameras failed the evening of the riot, and there was a considerable delay in the formal investigation, the report said. Kentucky State Police immediately tried to begin an investigation to see which inmates were involved in the riot but was advised by the corrections department's operations director that the investigation would be conducted internally. Several days later, the report said, two staff members from the Justice Cabinet determined that state police should conduct the investigation. "The criminal investigations should have started immediately to preserve evidence, testimony and critical information," the report says. "After a few days, staff thoughts and observations became diluted."

January 21, 2010 Lexington Herald-Leader
The state agreed on Wednesday to turn over its original report on the August riot at Northpoint Training Center after nearly two weeks of denying requests for the document by lawmakers. The Department of Corrections released an investigative report of the fiery melee on Nov. 20, but not before it was edited to allegedly address security concerns. At the time, officials did not disclose that they had altered the investigative report. Legislators are hoping the original report will help them determine if food provided by a private contractor was partly to blame for the Aug. 21 riot that destroyed several buildings at the prison outside of Danville. Part of that report can be redacted for security reasons, the two sides agreed at a meeting of the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. It should be ready by next week, they agreed. The report released in November showed that the main cause of the riot was inmate anger over a lockdown and other restrictions imposed following a fight at the prison. Inmates set fires that destroyed six buildings, including those containing the kitchen, canteen, visitation center, medical services, sanitation department and a multipurpose area. Several dorms were heavily damaged, and eight guards and eight inmates were injured. Rep. Brent Yonts, D-Greenville, said Wednesday that he had heard in early January that there was another version of the report and asked the department for the original. Yonts said he had been told that the original report gave more weight to the concerns about food than the version that was released to the public. Yonts has filed a proposal -- House Bill 33 -- that would cancel the state's $12 million-a-year contract with Aramark to provide meals at 13 prisons. Aramark Correctional Services has had the state contract since 2005. It was renewed in 2009 and expires at the end of this year. Yonts has also asked State Auditor Crit Luallen to do a performance audit of the Aramark contract, but Terry Sebastian, a spokesman for Luallen, said the auditor is still waiting for a formal request from the House Judiciary Committee. Yonts said Wednesday that he expects the committee to make that request. Democratic Rep. John Tilley, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said he also had requested the original investigative report from the Department of Corrections. Corrections Commissioner LaDonna Thompson said the department didn't release the original report because it contained sensitive details about security at Northpoint. She also said the report that was released provided more details about the incident than the original report. Some members of the committee said they found the department's concerns about security unfounded. "I'm not in the habit of disclosing that information (to prisoners)," said Rep. Johnny Bell, D-Glasgow. Thompson said they were worried the information might make its way into newspapers, which prisoners read. Thompson said she was not aware that Tilley had also asked for the original information, but Tilley said that wasn't true. Tilley said he verbally requested the information from the Department of Corrections at a meeting last Friday. Thompson said she must have misunderstood Tilley's request. Yonts also complained that he has asked since this fall for grievances that inmates have filed concerning the food that Aramark provided. That request has been denied to protect the identity of the inmates, department officials said. At the hearing on Wednesday, Thompson and representatives from Aramark acknowledged that there have been complaints about food at the state's prisons but said they were generally satisfied with the quality of food that the company has provided. The contract has saved the state $5.4 million a year, Thompson said. Yonts said there have been widespread complaints about the food, including: food-borne illnesses at Western Kentucky Correctional Facility, worms being found in food and food being watered down. He said corrections officers are concerned that unrest over food quality is jeopardizing their safety. Although there have been three incidents of widespread illness at Western Kentucky Correctional Facility since 2005, Thompson said there was no conclusive evidence that any of the three incidents was caused by the food. Thompson confirmed there was one grub worm found in soup at Green River Correctional Complex. It was found before it was served to inmates, she said. "There have been other institutions that have found bugs in their food," Thompson said. Part of the problem, she said, was that produce grown at the prisons hasn't always been properly cleaned. Officials are working to correct that problem, she said. Inmate menu surveys have shown a decline in satisfaction with the food, but the percentage of food being served to inmates has increased by 10 percent, Thompson said. Tim Campbell, president of Aramark Correctional Services, told the committee that the company does solid work. "We stand by the quality of services that we provide the commonwealth," he said. Still, some legislators said there is a disconnect between the testimony they heard from officials on Wednesday and remarks made by corrections officers during a committee meeting in November. Those corrections officers said the food was barely edible and that they were concerned that discontent with the food was making the prisons unsafe. Rep. Darryl Owens, D-Louisville, said he didn't believe that those officers would lie to a legislative committee. The committee did not vote on Yonts' bill on Wednesday.

November 19, 2009 News-Star
Inmates at Northpoint Training Center rioted in August because the warden had put the prison on lockdown four days earlier and implemented a new schedule that restricted inmates’ time in the yard, recreation areas and library, according to a report released today by the Department of Corrections. Staff and inmates told investigators that the quality of food was not a primary factor, the report states. Six buildings, including the kitchen, were burned and eight inmates and eight corrections officers suffered minor injuries after prisoners began setting fires and trashing buildings Aug. 21 at the facility near Burgin.

November 7, 2009 Herald-Leader
A corrections officer at Northpoint Training Center told lawmakers Friday that an August riot at the prison near Danville was caused by inmate anger over bad food and was planned. "It's over the food," corrections officer Matt Hughes told the Interim Judiciary Committee. "The food was slop." State corrections officials did not speak at Friday's meeting but have said that as early as next week they will issue a report based on a Kentucky State Police investigation. State Rep. Kelly Flood, D-Lexington, said that corrections officers at Northpoint said they doubt officials will admit it in the official report but that "it was about the food." State Rep. Brent Yonts — who has filed a bill that would cancel the $12 million annual contract of Philadelphia-based Aramark Correctional Services, food provider for Kentucky prisons — said the General Assembly should launch its own investigation. He wants lawmakers to go to Northpoint to interview inmates. Yonts, D-Greenville, said the problems exist at state prisons all over Kentucky. He told the committee of lawmakers that a corrections officer at Green River Correctional Complex in Central City told him about "a very large body of worms that boiled to the top of a pot of soup" that had to be removed from a serving line. Yonts said human feces was found in a burrito at the Kentucky State Penitentiary at Eddyville and just this week he received information that an Aramark supervisor allowed inmates at Blackburn Correctional Complex in Lexington to eat brownies containing human feces. Citing numbers showing the state might not be getting its money's worth in the contract from Aramark because fewer inmates were eating in prison cafeterias, Yonts said that the state needed to take back food service operations. "It's not working," Yonts said. Aramark spokeswoman Kristine Grow said Friday that the company "had received no official complaints regarding our food before the riot occurred" and had no "absolute proof" of the allegations that Yonts made. "We stand by the quality of our service and our food, and we look forward to the state's official report," Grow said. Aramark officials have previously said that there's no evidence that anything but gang violence and anger over yard restrictions caused the riot. Hughes, however, told lawmakers that the explanation about yard restrictions was "bogus." He said that inmates were betting over high-priced packaged food from the Northpoint canteen because they couldn't eat the cafeteria food. Hughes also said the gambling was leading to fights and security problems for corrections officers. In the riot at Northpoint on Aug. 21, inmates burned and damaged buildings, several of which were a total loss. Eight guards and eight inmates suffered minor injuries. Hughes was one of three corrections officers from various prisons who appeared at Friday's meeting. All said they were members of the union American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Union officials also attended. Yonts acknowledged he is supportive of unions and of labor, but he said "that has nothing to do with the validity of this bill." If the bill is passed by the Kentucky General Assembly in 2010, food service to inmates at state prisons could be provided only by state employees, inmates or volunteers. That was the case until January 2005, when the state contracted with Aramark. The contract was renewed in January 2009 and expires in 2011. State corrections officials have said that with the savings from the Aramark contract, they were able to give corrections officers a nearly 7 percent raise in 2005. Jennifer Brislin, a spokeswoman for the state Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, said that in October 2005, corrections officers' hours were increased from 37.5 to 40 hours a week, resulting in a 6.67 percent increase. Meanwhile, lawmakers who heard the testimony said they wanted a special meeting with Department of Corrections officials and representatives of Aramark to find out the truth. "It's only one side," state Rep. Harry Moberly, D-Richmond, said of the allegations raised Friday. He said that lawmakers could have a "direct impact" on fixing the situation if the complaints were valid.

October 22, 2009 AP
Surveys of Kentucky's prison inmates indicate they are less pleased with the food they're served than they were a few years ago. The state outsourced the work in 2005 to a private company, Philadelphia-based Aramark Correctional Services. An Aramark spokeswoman says the inmates may have "self-interested motivations" for criticizing the food. The level of satisfaction was lower at Northpoint Training Center in Boyle County than among prisoners statewide. Prisoners rioted and burned much of the Northpoint complex on Aug. 21, and state Rep. Brent Yonts said corrections officers, other lawmakers and inmates have all told him that unrest "over food" figured into the riot. But Aramark officials have said there's no evidence that anything but gang violence and anger over prison yard restrictions played a role in the riot. They said their food was not a factor. The Lexington Herald-Leader obtained the survey results under the Open Records Act and reported Tuesday that early this year, state inmates rated the food 3.24 on a scale of 1 to 10, down from 5.84 in 2003. At Northpoint, the rating this year was 2.66, compared with 6.13 in 2003. Yonts, D-Greenville, has filed legislation that would cancel Aramark's $12 million annual contract with the state. State officials haven't said yet what led to the Northpoint incident. Eight guards and eight inmates suffered minor injuries. Small portions, cleanliness and food shortages were among the issues inmates often addressed in the survey. "Get rid of Aramark, bring back the state," an inmate at Roederer Correctional Complex in La Grange wrote in the anonymous 2009 survey. At the Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex, an inmate wrote, "I would like not to be hungry all the time." Jennifer Brislin, a state Justice Cabinet spokeswoman, said Tuesday that Aramark's food "meets all recommended daily allowances and dietary requirements."

October 19, 2009 Courier-Journal
Workers at the Northpoint Training Center will begin serving food out of a makeshift kitchen Monday, nearly two months after the worst inmate riot in modern Kentucky history. The portable, tent-style building will be fully functional and seat 200, Justice Cabinet spokeswoman Jennifer Brislin said. The department is paying $195,447 to rent the facility for six months. It could extend the rental if work on a new kitchen isn't completed by then. The facility has been approved by the state fire marshal and local health department, she said. Until now, food has been delivered daily to Northpoint from another state prison. Six buildings, including the kitchen, were burned and eight inmates and eight corrections officers suffered minor injuries after inmates began setting fires and trashing buildings at the prison near Burgin on Aug. 21. The state moved roughly 700 prisoners to other facilities the day after the riot. As of Friday, the prison, which is about 30 miles southwest of Lexington, held 468 inmates. It's operating at less than 40 percent capacity. Limited visitation for inmates resumed recently, Brislin said. A Department of Corrections investigation into the cause of the disturbance is expected to be completed later this month, she said. There is still no cost estimate for the damage. Prison officials are working to remove debris from three dormitories that were damaged. An architectural firm is working on renderings of facilities that would contain a medical area, kitchen, library and inmate canteen — all of which appeared gutted in photographs provided by the Justice Cabinet. Brislin said that, while six buildings were burned, it's unclear whether six new buildings will be built or whether the department would build fewer structures that would be more efficient. Justice and corrections officials are expected to give a legislative committee an update on Thursday. One legislator, Rep. Brent Yonts, D-Greenville, has questioned whether inmate dissatisfaction with food provided by a private vendor caused problems at Northpoint and other prisons in the state. Yonts has prefiled a bill that would cancel the Department of Corrections' $12million contract with Pennsylvania-based Aramark Services and prohibit privatization of inmate food service in Kentucky's state-operated prisons. He said families of inmates, prison employees and inmates have complained that inmates don't receive enough food during meals and can't afford the food that is sold in prison canteens. “About 20 percent of prisoners or more do not receive money from their families to buy canteen food, which some say is high-priced,” he said in a recent news release. Aramark has disputed the claim that its food service might have contributed to the August riot.

September 9, 2009 Herald-Leader
Complaints about the quality and quantity of food that a private company provides to Kentucky state prisons has led a state lawmaker to file a bill that would cancel the $12 million annual contract. Northpoint Training Center, where there was a riot last month, is one of several state prisons where inmates and corrections officers have complained about the food provided by Philadelphia-based Aramark Correctional Services, said state Rep. Brent Yonts, D-Greenville. Yonts said he also is concerned that the illness of as many as 300 inmates at a Western Kentucky prison might have been caused by food. "There's no reason for people to be treated inhumanely," Yonts said. "I don't think the system is recognizing the problem with Aramark. I'm hoping the administration will ... cancel the contract." If the bill is passed by the Kentucky General Assembly in 2010, food service to inmates at state prisons could be provided only by state employees, inmates or volunteers. That was the case until January 2005, when the state contracted with Aramark. The contract was renewed in January 2009 and expires in 2011. Yonts said he received many complaints from across the state about food quality, shortages and even "crawling creatures in the food" in the past year. Inmates at Boyle County's Northpoint staged a sit-in in 2007 over the quality of food and prices of snacks in the prison canteen, according to the American Correctional Association. In a riot at Northpoint on Aug. 21, inmates burned and damaged buildings, several of which were a total loss. Eight guards and eight inmates suffered minor injuries. Yonts said that he sent a questionnaire about the food to corrections officers. The replies said that food problems have caused "control" problems with inmates. Sarah Jarvis, a spokeswoman for Aramark, said Tuesday that the company "has an excellent track record" and has received many accolades. "We reduce the costs to taxpayers of feeding inmates, while providing nutritious meals in close consultation with dietitians and nutritionists," she said. In January, Aramark stopped serving meals at Florida prisons, citing rapid rises in food costs and a poor working relationship with the state. In 2008 alone, the company was fined $241,499 by Florida for problems with the food and service, according to news reports. Saving millions -- State corrections officials say the contract with Aramark saves $5 million each year and allowed them to give corrections officers a nearly 7 percent raise in 2008. Northpoint inmates and family members have told the Herald-Leader that the quality and price of food and canteen items continues to be a source of unrest at the prison and might have figured in the August riots. Jarvis said there is no evidence that the riots "were the result of anything other than gang-related activity and yard restrictions. Some of the facts in this story seem to be based on anecdotes, half-truths and suspicious complaints by inmates and others who ... ignore official reports and contradictory facts." Incidents that led to the riot and fire are under investigation by the state Department of Corrections and State Police. Source of illnesses unknown -- At the Western Kentucky Correctional Complex at Fredonia, James Tolley, the public health director at Pennyrile District Health Department, said his staff has investigated three cases in 2009 in which inmates had gastrointestinal distress. In one instance in the spring, Tolley said, as many as 300 inmates fell ill there. State Corrections Department spokeswoman Cheryl Million said a foodborne illness was suspected, but it could not be verified in lab tests. Tolley said that even though lab results did not confirm that food was the problem, his staff advised food service employees on safe food handling. Yonts said he is looking into those cases. "Inmates do complain about Aramark," Million said. However, she said, there were similar complaints before Aramark took over food service. The Department of Corrections receives, on average, 21 food grievances among 13 institutions each month, she said. The state pays Aramark $2.63 for each inmate each day, Million said. Yonts said he also has received complaints about the food at Blackburn Correctional Complex in Fayette County. Yonts' legislation barring private companies would not apply to canteens where inmates at state prisons can buy food, to local jails or to food provided to inmates being transferred from one prison to another.

September 2, 2009 Herald-Leader
Last month's riot at Northpoint Training Center was at least the second inmate protest at the medium security prison in the past two years. The other disturbance occurred in October 2007, when 60 to 70 inmates staged a sit-in inside the prison yard to complain about prison food and canteen prices, according to an accreditation report completed in February by the American Correctional Association. In the Aug. 21 riot, inmates burned and damaged buildings at the Boyle County facility. Several were a total loss. Eight guards and eight inmates received minor injuries. Since then, some prisoners and their families have contacted the Herald-Leader alleging that the quality and price of prison food and canteen items continues to be a source of unrest at the prison and may have played a role in the riot. However, Justice Cabinet Spokesperson Jennifer Brislin said a Northpoint official responsible for handling inmate grievances told Brislin she had received no information from inmates that indicate concerns over food service or the canteen led to last month's disturbance. At Northpoint, "there are nutritional standards and calorie levels that must be met, and there is a certified dietitian who reviews the menus, so inmates are being offered nutritionally balanced meals," Brislin said. A spokeswoman for Aramark Correctional Services, the private company that operates the prison's food services and canteen, said the company had “no indication” that inmate concerns about food service or high canteen prices had anything to do with the Aug. 21 riot. “We serve meals that are healthy and nutritious,” said Sarah Jarvis, the spokeswoman. She said the food meets all state and federal standards and that canteen prices have to meet the approval of prison administration. Incidents that led up to the riot and fire are still under investigation by the state Department of Corrections and State Police. A report on the cause of the riot may not be complete for weeks, said Brislin, because 700 inmates were transferred to other facilities throughout Kentucky, making conducting interviews difficult, she said. About 500 of the prison's 1,200 inmates are now living in two dorms. During the 2007 disturbance, the prison's accreditation report said protesting inmates "quickly dispersed" when security staff "assembled with video cameras" to document who was involved. Two inmates filed grievances concerning food service and the canteen after the 2007 incident, the report said.

Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, Missouri
September 14, 2011 Maryville Daily Forum
Northwest Missouri State University's Board of Regents has wasted little time in addressing findings delivered in a state audit declaring that the school violated the Missouri Constitution by failing to solicit competitive bids from its food service, facilities maintenance and bookstore vendors. Instead of bidding out the contracts as required by state law, Northwest extended arrangements with Aramark and Barnes & Noble for years in exchange for $1.5 million in donations to the Northwest Foundation to fund football stadium improvements. In a formal response to the State Auditor Tom Schweich's findings, Northwest President John Jasinski committed the university to a competitive bidding process that would end with the awarding of new vendor contracts within 24 to 36 months. The regents, however, moved that deadline forward last week, pledging to begin the request-for-proposal process as soon as October with a goal of having new facilities management and bookstore contracts in place by the end of next summer. Awarding a new food service contract will take a bit longer, but Northwest finance chief Stacey Carrick said she expects a deal to be in place by May 2013. Getting its fiscal house in order could be expensive for Northwest. Current contracts provide for prorated refunds of vendor donations if contracts are not extended through 2017. However, Carrick said such penalties will not be a factor as Northwest moves forward with new bid requests. University Counsel Scott Sullivan said staggering the contract awards is necessary in order to avoid logistical problems associated with making major changes in connection with key student services all at once. Negotiating three major vendor deals at the same time, he said, could create "real conflicts with a very short amount of time to deal with them." Sullivan added that completing the contract award process in about 18 months ― as opposed to two or three years ― should serve as a strong statement that Northwest is acting in a timely fashion to address audit findings that suggest sloppy fiscal management on a number of fronts. In addition to trading contracts for stadium money, Northwest is also said to have committed fiscal improprieties by using $3.3 million over three years to subsidize the non-profit Northwest Foundation, another constitutional violation. Also, following his retirement, former university President Dean Hubbard apparently received more than a quarter-million dollars in cash payments and other benefits for which few or no services were rendered ― yet another violation of state law.

Nueces County Jail, Nueces County, Texas
September 29, 2008 KRIS TV
The Nueces County sheriff is asking the company that makes the county jail inmates' meals to change its policies after a knife disappeared from the jail kitchen last week. Knives are kept under lock and key by the food manager's office in the Nueces County Jail kitchen. Yet, on Sept. 19, the jail realized a knife was missing early in the morning. Nueces County Sheriff Jim Kaelin said both the jail and the McKenzie Annex went into immediate lockdown. "We searched from the top floor to the bottom floor, every cell, every nook, every cranny where someone might be able to hide a utensil such as that," Kaelin said. Even so, they still have not found the knife. Kaelin pointed out that if an inmate really wanted a knife, they would just make one. "I feel very confident the knife is no longer in our facility," Kaelin said. He explained that the most likely scenario was that the knife was laying on a table and somehow was knocked into a trash receptacle. Then, it was carried and dumped into an outside dumpster. The experience has prompted Kaelin to ask Aramark, the company contracted to make the food, to change the way it operates. "The policy needs to be changed. Their current system failed and I cannot afford to have them in our kitchen and have that system fail," Kaelin said.

September 27, 2008 The Caller
A search of Nueces County Jail and Annex cells failed to turn up a chef's knife missing from the jail's kitchen. Sheriff Jim Kaelin said the knife was discovered missing the morning of Sept. 19. The cutlery, which belongs to jail food provider Aramark Corp., was supposed to be kept in a locked box and logged out for use by kitchen contractors. All of the company's knives have different color handles so that they are easy to identify, Kaelin said. "Once we knew it was missing, we locked down the jail and conducted a cell by cell inspection," Kaelin said. "No knife was uncovered in our operation. It's a big enough knife that it would be difficult to conceal in any of the cells we have. It was either taken by one of their employees or it fell off a table into the garbage bin and then was thrown into the Dumpsters." Aramark sent a memo to Kaelin stating that proper sign-out procedures were not followed and that disciplinary actions and corrective training were taking place with the employee responsible. The company also is revising its policy to include that kitchen knives will be tethered to work stations, Kaelin said.

Oak Grove School, Macon County, Illinois
April 15, 2011 Herald-Tribune
Vershaw Patton, a 21-year-old felon formerly employed as a food service worker at Oak Grove School, was arraigned Thursday in Macon County Circuit Court on a charge of aggravated criminal sexual abuse for allegedly having sex with a girl younger than 16. Patton's cousin, Darren P. Edmonds, 22, was arraigned on the same charge, for allegedly having sex with a girl younger than 14 in Patton's van. If convicted, Patton and Edmonds each face up to seven years in prison. Patton worked for Aramark Food Services at the school from September 2010 until January, said Chris Herbert, spokeswoman for the Decatur School District. When contacted by a police detective by telephone immediately before his arrest April 5, Patton said he was working at Oak Grove School that day until 3 p.m., according to a sworn statement by the detective. The detective, Kristopher Thompson of the Macon County Sheriff's Office, then drove to the school, at 2160 W. Center St., at 12:25 p.m. When Thompson arrived, he spotted Patton driving a van away from the school parking lot. As Thompson followed Patton in his unmarked car, his phone rang. As Patton drove from the school lot toward his home a few blocks away, he told the detective he was still busy working at the school and offered to meet him after his shift ended at 3 p.m. Thompson then conducted a traffic stop, arresting Patton after he pulled into his driveway in the 2400 block of West Division Street. The mother of the girl who allegedly had sex with Patton informed the sheriff's office that Patton had told her daughter that he was an 18-year-old virgin. Patton had picked up the victim at her friend's house before having sex with her in the van. The girl gave police Patton's phone number, and her mother gave them his license plate number.

Passaic County Jail, New Jersey
February 19, 2006 Herald News
Passaic County Jail inmate prayers -- and stomach rumblings -- have been heard. Sheriff Jerry Speziale is firing the jail's meal provider, Aramark, and inmates will take charge of the kitchen come May, Speziale spokesman Bill Maer said Friday. "We can do it as well as them at this point," he said. The company's $1.7 million annual contract is being terminated because of poor "quality, service, attentiveness," said Maer. Jail officials haven't estimated how much they will save by cooking in-house, and the financial aspect is secondary, said Maer. Inmates said the food is cold, measly in portion size, not varied enough and served on dirty trays, forcing some to pay as much as $200 a month on pre-packaged food from the jail's commissary. The Philadelphia-based vendor was the only bidder for the contract and company executives have since 2002 contributed at least $3,700 to Speziale's campaign, according to election reports. Speziale had advised the company twice over the past year to step up food quality and professionalism or lose the contract. Earlier this month, an Aramark employee at the jail was charged with selling marijuana to inmates. The federal government began an audit -- its second within four years -- into possible mistreatment of detainees and substandard jail conditions at Passaic. The audit is due for release by April. Maer said the firing of Aramark is unrelated to the audit. Three jail inmates said Friday they believed Speziale's decision is designed to appease a growing chorus of inmate complaints about unacceptable jail conditions, in his quest to secure more federal and state inmates in 2006. Housing those inmates provided $20.9 million to the department last year.

February 5, 2006 NorthJersey.com
A food service employee at the Passaic County Jail was arrested Saturday and charged with smuggling marijuana to inmates. Three weeks ago, an anonymous source tipped jail investigators that Roody Preval, 18, of Spring Valley, N.Y., could be selling marijuana to jail inmates, according to Bill Maer, a spokesman for the Passaic County Sheriff's Department. Employed by Aramark Food Services, Preval had been working as a warehouse supervisor at the Passaic County Jail on weekends since July 15. Investigators searched Preval when he reported to work at 12:10 p.m. Saturday, and they found three grams of marijuana hidden in a Newport 100 cigarette box. Preval was charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana, possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana 1,000 feet from a school, and conspiracy to provide an inmate with contraband knowing that the contraband was illegal.

January 20, 2006 Herald News
Under pressure from inmates complaining about the quality of jail cuisine, Passaic County Sheriff Jerry Speziale may terminate a $1.7 million food service contract with facility's current provider, Philadelphia-based Aramark. "The sheriff is holding Aramark's feet to the fire regarding the food quality issue," Bill Maer, spokesman for the Passaic County Sheriff's Department, said Thursday. Speziale's threat this week issued to Aramark is his second - last June he changed the company's contract from annual to month-to-month and told Aramark officials the firm needed to improve food quality and increase the menu variety, Maer said. Speziale's promise to re-evaluate Aramark's competency came after a 2 p.m. meeting on Wednesday with a group of about seven U.S. Marshals Service inmates over grievances, which included the poor quality of the food served at the county, Maer said. Much of the changes demanded from the food service company could be traced to a long-simmering controversy over the poor quality of the meals being served at the county jail. A letter dated Jan. 7 from an anonymous group of U.S. Marshals Service inmates said the meals are cold and too cheap to be nutritious.

April 2, 2005 Herald News
The Passaic County Jail may drop its $1.4 million-a-year contract with the food vendor Aramark.  "At this point, the department is considering making alterations or terminating the contract," said Sheriff's Department spokesman Bill Maer. "Although the department feels that the vendor has been deficient in many areas, at this point a final decision has not been made." "Preliminarily, yes, (jail officials) have said that we could do it cheaper and better," said County Administrator Anthony DeNova.

Pennsylvania Legislature
May 16, 2011 AP
The cafeteria in Pennsylvania's Capitol is reopening under new management 18 months after it was briefly shut down by a rodent infestation. The Patriot-News of Harrisburg reports a local company is reopening the cafeteria Monday as Capitol Restaurant by C&J Catering. The caterer took over control of the cafeteria after food services giant Aramark scraped its three-year lease in December. The state Department of Health shut down the cafeteria for two weeks in December 2009 over a rodent infestation. It soon reopened but more problems were discovered a month later during an unannounced walkthrough. Catering company owner Jamie Berger has been selling salads and sandwiches from kiosk outside the cafeteria for the last month. She says her employees will conduct weekly health inspections so previous problems don't return.

January 4, 2010 Tribune-Democrat
State employees and visitors can again buy food and coffee in the Capitol cafeteria. The privately run eatery at the state Capitol opened its doors Monday morning after being shut down for more than two weeks for a cleanup. State inspectors had found mouse droppings and other health hazards. Philadelphia-based Aramark Corp. holds the contract to operate the cafeteria on the ground floor of the statehouse. Officials acknowledged that the cafeteria had not been inspected for four years, even though state law requires annual inspections. The cafeteria will be inspected monthly for the next six months, they said.

December 18, 2009 Tribune-Democrat
The cafeteria in Pennsylvania’s Capitol was shut down and workers scoured the facility Friday after health inspectors found evidence of a rodent infestation and dishwashing water that wasn’t hot enough. The ground-floor cafeteria, a popular coffee and lunch spot for visitors to the statehouse and people who work there, was closed Thursday after state Department of Agriculture officials made an unannounced inspection. “There were mouse droppings around the facility too numerous to mention,” said Justin Fleming, a spokesman for the state Agriculture Department. Aramark Corp., the Philadelphia-based food service company that runs the cafeteria, said the problems were being corrected.

Pueblo County Jail, Pueblo, Colorado
October 23, 2007 Pueblo Chieftain
A cook at the Pueblo County jail was arrested Friday for allegedly smuggling in drugs. Colleen Ann Frazier, 33, was arrested on suspicion of unlawful possession of a controlled substance and introduction of contraband. She is free after posting $15,000 bail Saturday. Frazier was the second person affiliated with the Pueblo County Sheriff's Department to be arrested in the same day. Deputy Joetta Iles was arrested under suspicion of attempted sexual assault and other crimes after she allegedly solicited a high-school girl over the Internet. Iles was a student resource officer at County High School. Iles was placed on unpaid administrative leave and posted $10,000 bail the same day. Frazier, who was working in the kitchen during dinner at the time of her arrest, had a white envelope containing 10 pills, five each of Vicodin and Percocet, Capt. Leide DeFusco of the Pueblo County Sheriff's Department said Monday. The envelope was found in Frazier's work apron following Friday's dinner, he said. "I don't know if she was selling them. I know she was distributing from the kitchen while she worked," DeFusco said, adding that the manner of alleged distributions was part of an ongoing investigation. He said more arrests could be likely. The sheriff's department teamed with the Pueblo Police Department narcotics unit on the investigation and arrest. Frazier, who lives in the 2000 block of West 11th Street, is an employee of Aramark Food, a private company the sheriff's department has contracted with for six years to prepare jail meals, according to a press release. Frazier and another unidentified Aramark employee had their security clearances revoked. Sheriff Kirk Taylor said he was pleased with the investigation and that the screening process for civilian kitchen staff could change. He also said the county's contract with Aramark will expire soon and food-provider bids will open in November.

October 21, 2006 The Pueblo Chieftain
The latest round of campaign finance reports on Pueblo County races reflect a trio of David-and-Goliath contests, at least in financial terms. In the race for sheriff, incumbent Republican Dan Corsentino has raised $133,500 and spent $100,000 as of last week. His Democratic challenger, Kirk Taylor, has raised $41,424 and spent all but $800 of it. Corsentino, who has been sheriff since 1990, had $49,000 in his campaign treasury a year ago and has raised more than $85,000 this year. His most recent report, covering contributions through Oct. 12, includes $1,000 contributions from Transcor America LLC, Aramark political action committee and Motorola PAC, as well as $1,000 each from local residents Keith and Sharon Swerdfeger, Daniel Montano, Thomas Rusler, Gary and Georgia Walker, Larry Mizel of Denver and Richard Lucibella of Oceanridge, Fla. Transcor is a large prisoner transportation company and Aramark is another large company, which has the contract for food service at the county jail.

Putnamville Correctional Facility, Putnamville, Indiana
February 15, 2013 tribstar.com

Indiana Dept. of Correction — PUTNAMVILLE – Aaron Flora, 44, of Brazil was arrested on Feb. 14 for attempting to traffick with an offender at the Putnamville Correctional Facility. When Flora arrived to work Thursday morning, Correctional Officer Sharon Wernick was monitoring the facility’s x-ray machine and observed what appeared to be a package concealed in a can of coffee that he was attempting to bring into the facility. A search of the container and of Flora revealed four cell phones, a large quantity of tobacco, and rolling papers. During an interview with Correctional Police Officer Troy Keith, Flora admitted to trafficking stating that the items were intended for offender Jason Wyttenbach, 40, from Indianapolis. Flora was arrested and transported to the Putnam County Jail on a preliminary charge of trafficking with an inmate, Class C felony. Wyttenbach is being held in administrative segregation and could face criminal charges pending the outcome of an investigation. He is currently serving multiple felony sentence. His projected release date is September 8, 2016, for a felony conviction of theft and fraud. Flora has been employed at Putnamville since November 2011 as an Aramark contractual worker. “Volunteers, State and Contractual staff receive extensive training in offender manipulation tactics and how to avoid them. Unfortunately, some still succumb to offender coercion to traffick and betray their obligations,” Superintendent Stanley Knight said in the release. “In a prison environment, it’s not a question of ‘if,’ but ‘when’ your illegal activity will be detected … and, not a question of ‘if’ criminal charges will be pursued, but ‘how long’ of a sentence you may receive.”

February 9, 2011 Banner Graphic
A Brazil man has pled guilty to drug dealing. Seth M. Curtis, 23, will be sentenced March 7 on one count of Class B felony dealing in a narcotic drug. Curtis worked for Aramark Food Services, the company that provides meals for offenders at the Putnamville Correctional Facility. Curtis was originally charged with Class A felony dealing in a narcotic drug and Class C felony trafficking with an inmate. Putnam County Circuit Court Judge Matthew Headley has taken under advisement a plea agreement that reduces the A felony to a B felony and dismissed the trafficking charge. A Class B felony is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Curtis was a supervisor with Aramark. An investigation into his possible trafficking activity at Putnamville was launched after prison officials received a tip that Curtis was involved in trafficking with Aryan Brotherhood members at the prison.

September 3, 2010 Banner Graphic
A Brazil man who worked for Aramark Food Services, the company who provides meals for offenders at the Putnamville Correctional Facility, has been charged with two felonies connected to trafficking with an inmate. Seth M. Curtis, 22, was formally charged in Putnam County Circuit Court with Class A felony dealing in a narcotic drug and Class C felony trafficking with an inmate. At his initial hearing, Curtis pled not guilty to both charges. His bond was set at $40,000 cash, and as of Thursday he remained lodged in the Putnam County Jail. Curtis requested a public defender, and Joel Wieneke was assigned to the case. A pretrial conference was set for Oct. 14. Court records said Curtis, who was a supervisor for Aramark, was interviewed by officers on Aug. 25 in the Internal Affairs Office at the prison after prison officials received a tip that Curtis was trafficking with Aryan Brotherhood members there. "During the interview Mr. Curtis did admit to trafficking with offender (James) Campbell," a narrative prepared by Putnamville Correctional Facility Correctional Officer Quentin Storm said. Campbell, 37, was convicted in Fulton County in October 2005 on two counts of Class B felony dealing in cocaine or a narcotic drug. His earliest possible release date is listed on the Indiana Department of Correction Web site as June 25, 2015. Curtis told Storm he had received a cell phone call from Campbell earlier that day instructing Curtis to "being in the package when he comes into work around 2 p.m." Curtis had smuggled that package into the prison. It was concealed under his testicles, and he voluntarily surrendered it. Storm's report described the package as "a horseshoe-shaped, clear plastic parcel containing what was identified by Mr. Curtis as tobacco." Also in the parcel, the report said, were two smaller parcels wrapped in black electrical tape. Curtis told Storm he had received the parcel from "an unknown black man in Indianapolis behind a 7-11 store on Michigan Street at the direction of offender Campbell. Curtis was not sure what was inside these parcels, but indicated he believed the substances were narcotics." When the parcels were unwrapped, officers found three more parcels wrapped inside balloons. The substance contained in the balloons was field tested and determined to be heroin -- a total of 13.9 grams. Curtis told Storm he had been trafficking with Campbell for about seven months. He said he was paid $300 via Western Union each time he brought a package into the facility. "He could not give me an estimated amount of money he has been paid for trafficking because there were too many incidents to recall," Storm said in his report.

January 31, 2006 Banner Graphic
A new crackdown on contraband inside the prison and a partnership with the Putnam County Sheriff's Department led to the arrest of a Putnamville Correctional Facility staff member Monday. Putnamville Public Information Officer Jim Ebey told the Banner Graphic Monday the arrest of Michelle Lynn Targett, 35, Terre Haute, a contract employee with Aramark food services, came after several corrections officers at the facility were recently deputized by the Putnam County Sheriff's Department. Targett is charged with bringing tobacco into the facility with the intent to distribute it to offenders. She faces a fine of $5,000, Ebey explained. The internal affairs officers, who had been made special Putnam County deputies on Friday, had been targeting Targett after receiving a tip from another staff member. "A lot of information comes from offenders, and the (internal affairs officers) take those tips and try to put together what is truth and what isn't, and then act on it," Ebey said of how the prison handles trafficking issues.

Richard Bolling Federal Building, Kansas City, Missouri
November 5, 2009 InfoZine
Matt J. Whitworth, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that the former food service director at the Richard Bolling Federal Building in Kansas City, Mo., pleaded guilty in federal court to assisting an illegal alien who was using a false Social Security number in order to work in the cafeteria. Christopher Wenell, 44, waived his right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Greg Kays this afternoon to a federal information that charges him with Social Security fraud. Wenell was the Food Service Director for Aramark Services, Inc., the contractor which operates the cafeteria in the federal building. Wenell admitted that he recruited Luis Carreon, an illegal alien from Mexico, to work for Aramark. Between Dec. 9, 2005, and Sept. 25, 2007, Wenell assisted Carreon in using false Social Security cards by re-employing him, knowing that the Social Security cards were false. In a separate but related case, Carreon was sentenced to two years of probation after pleading guilty to Social Security fraud and identity theft. In other related cases, former Aramark employees Felipe Carreon and Francisco J. Munoz-Carmona, also illegal aliens from Mexico, and Nilda A. Franco and Fania L. Garza, both illegal aliens from Guatemala, also pleaded guilty and were sentenced on similar charges contained in a series of indictments returned on Nov. 6, 2007.

Ryerson University
February 14, 2013 thestar.com

Ryerson University faculty are outraged with the school’s decision to pony up more than $5.6 million to cover the losses of a food services company it employs — and they’re determined to hold the administration accountable. Anver Saloojee, president of the Ryerson Faculty Association, said members were upset to read in the Star Wednesday that Ryerson has incurred losses for Aramark Canada Ltd., which runs the cafeterias and catering operation. “Faculty are not happy with what has been revealed,” the professor of politics and public administration said Thursday. “We have every right to hold the administration to account for a $5.6 million shortfall that they had to pay Aramark for the last five years.” The association represents more than 800 members including faculty, professional librarians and professional counselors. The executive will meet Feb. 26, where it will discuss next steps. As the Star reported Thursday, students are also unsatisfied. Among Saloojee’s concerns are where the funds came from, why the university amended its contract with Aramark in 2006 agreeing to take on the risk, and why an audit wasn’t done looking into the quality and value of Aramark’s goods and services. Particularly perplexing is that all departments were asked to identify 3 per cent in potential cuts from their operating budgets — yet the university found millions to give to a private company. “I have been hearing over the last day or two from faculty who say simply, ‘We’re being asked to cut and we’re paying Aramark . . . something doesn’t feel right and sound right.’” Ryerson officials have said the university, with a small base of students resident on the campus and competition from hundreds of downtown restaurants, does not expect to make money from foodservice operations. Saloojee said he was assured by the administration that the funds covering the losses didn’t come from the university’s general operating budget, a response that “can be seen as smoke and mirrors,” he said. The university is paying the losses from its business services fund — money it earns, in part, off meal plan students who buy food at the campus’s only two student-run eateries. “Wherever the money comes from, it’s coming out of Ryerson’s overall pool of money,” Saloojee said, noting universities are chronically underfunded. “I have a lot of problems with that . . . because that money could be put to use somewhere else.”

Salem Hospital, Salem, Oregon
June 9, 2011 AP
Salem Hospital is unhappy with the work of a private contractor, so it will use the commercial laundry at the Oregon State Penitentiary to clean its microfiber mop heads. Spokeswoman Julie Howard told the Statesman Journal that mop heads were coming back smelly and crusty from Aramark Uniform Services and couldn't be used. She says the hospital already contracts with the prison laundry for bed linens and staff scrubs and is happy with the inmate labor. A spokeswoman for Aramark in Philadelphia says it stands behind the quality of it service.

Santa Rosa County Jail, Santa Rosa County, Florida
April 9, 2010 Panama City News-Journal
A Milton woman who worked at the Santa Rosa County Jail is suspected of taking items that belonged to inmates. Tammy Murvine, 43, of the 7800 block of Marlette Drive is charged with grand theft, petty theft and fraud. She was in jail Thursday under $16,000 bond. Murvine, who was arrested Wednesday, is an employee of Aramark and was assigned to work in the inmate property room. She was hired Feb. 4. In February, inmates released from the jail started to complain that some of their belongings were missing. The items included jewelry, food stamp cards, a wallet and cigarettes, according to a Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office report. The Sheriff's Office interviewed Murvine on March 24. She admitted to taking jewelry and money from inmates but said she did not steal the other missing items, according to the Sheriff's Office report. The report said Murvine previously worked at a nursing home and was fired after she was accused of stealing jewelry from residents.

Sheboygan County Detention Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
June 6, 2009 Sheboygan Press
A two-time convicted sex offender is going back to prison after resuming a sexual relationship with a former Sheboygan County jail worker who was fired for having sex with him in 2007. The relationship is detailed in the case file of Wydell J. Vaughn, a 28-year-old Sheboygan man sentenced Thursday to a year in prison. Vaughn was out of prison for all of three days before authorities discovered the relationship and put him back behind bars. Court records say Vaughn met Tammy Green, 37, while incarcerated at the Sheboygan County Detention Center in 2007. Green, who was married, was a kitchen worker employed by Aramark, which contracts to provide jail foodservice. Vaughn denied having sexual contact at the jail, but the two began having sex shortly after his release in August 2007, and Green was later fired for having the relationship, court records show. The two were found out when Vaughn called Green’s supervisor to complain their relationship couldn’t move forward since she wouldn’t leave her husband. That relationship — along with other probation violations such as unapproved contact with minors and frequenting parks — led to Vaughn being sent to prison for two years in November 2007. He was released Feb. 24 to a halfway house. Before his release, Vaughn was repeatedly told he could not have contact with Green, and all sex offenders must have relationships approved by a probation agent, but he reestablished contact the day he was released, court records show. Green visited him at a halfway house that day and the next, then had sex with him on the 26th when Vaughn was let out to buy clothes for a court appearance on the 27th. A GPS monitoring bracelet showed the pair drove throughout Sheboygan and also left the city. Green then went with Vaughn to the court hearing, and the two were seen kissing in the courthouse hallway, court record show. Vaughn later called his probation agent from Green’s phone, and Green called the probation agent and identified herself as his girlfriend after he was arrested for having contact with her. That arrest came on Feb. 27, three days after he had been released from prison. He was kept in jail on a probation hold until being sentenced Thursday by Judge Timothy Van Akkeren. Sheriff Mike Helmke said Green was not a county employee, though jail administrators have a say in who can work there. “We conduct a pre-hire background investigation, but other than that the supervision and employment standards and everything are pretty much regulated by her employer,” Helmke said, adding that Aramark made the decision to fire Green. Vaughn was convicted twice in 2002 of felony second-degree sexual assault for having sex with 14- and 15-year-old girls in 2001, when he was 20. He has served a total of more than five years in prison in the cases, all but two years of it resulting from probation violations.

Shea Stadium, New York
May 7, 2007 AP
The New York Mets fan whose back was broken by an apparently drunken 300-pound man who fell on her at Shea Stadium during the team's home opener has filed a lawsuit because of her injuries. Ellen Massey, 58, says in court papers that on April 9 she was in the second row of the right field upper deck near a "visibly intoxicated" man who was "acting in a rowdy, boisterous and dangerous manner for a long period of time." Around 3:30 p.m., court papers say, the man, who has not been found or identified, "in an intoxicated condition fell upon plaintiff causing her to sustain severe personal injuries." Massey's lawyer, Stephen Kaufman, said Monday that the fall by the drunk, who was described as a blond 300-pounder, cracked several of the woman's vertebrae. "He got up and left," apparently uninjured, Kaufman said. "We have information that one of the security people might have spoken to him and let him leave." Two emergency medical technicians sitting directly in front of Massey gave her first aid and comforted her until an ambulance arrived, Kaufman said. Massey underwent surgery for spinal injuries at Jacobi Medical Center and was hospitalized there for about two weeks, Kaufman said. Doctors put rods and screws in her back and will have to operate on her again, he said. Massey was at the game with two adult nephews when the incident occurred between the sixth and seventh innings, with the Mets behind 5-3. The home team went on the beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 11-5. Massey, a Manhattan lawyer, named Sterling Mets L.P., owner of the baseball team; Philadelphia-based Aramark Corp., the beer vendor; the Service Employees International Union Local 177, whose members are security guards at Shea Stadium, and "John Doe," the unidentified man who fell on her, as defendants. Massey's court papers say that Sterling Mets had a duty to provide reasonable safety for stadium patrons, that Aramark should not have sold alcohol to spectators who appeared to be already drunk and that the union employees should have prevented unruly behavior. The lawsuit, filed Friday in Manhattan's state Supreme Court, seeks unspecified money damages for Massey's injuries. The Mets issued a statement about the lawsuit saying, "We believe the claim has no merit." Aramark said it was reviewing the complaint. "We continue to work closely with the Mets and stadium security personnel in investigating this incident," spokeswoman Kristine Grow said.

Shelby County Correction Center, Memphis, Tennessee
August 18, 2011 Commercial Appeal
Shelby County Commissioners passed a preliminary 5-0 vote Wednesday to oppose a move to lay off about 31 kitchen workers at the Shelby County Division of Corrections and give the work to food-service giant Aramark. If the full commission rejects the contract on Monday, it will be at least the third time that opposition from employees and a local food vendor has led commissioners to refuse the cost-cutting plan. The move would save the county $250,000 per year in its general fund and another $400,000 in the corrections fund, County Chief Administrative Officer Harvey Kennedy has said. The commission outsourced food services at the county jail in 2002, but commissioners have since rejected efforts to do the same with food services at the state-affiliated prison complex near Shelby Farms. Some commissioners apparently didn't realize that the outsourcing plan was included in the annual budget document they approved earlier this year. The county administration had introduced the plan at a meeting that only a few commissioners attended. Casting the "no" votes Wednesday were Walter Bailey, Melvin Burgess, Sidney Chism, James Harvey and Terry Roland. Kennedy and Aramark representative Jim Hinds said the company had agreed to hire 21 of the workers and pay them as much as they're getting now -- many are paid about $16 per hour. Kennedy also said the remaining workers would go on a list for priority hiring elsewhere in the county and that several were eligible to retire. Several people expressed skepticism. "If you believe that they're going to hire these people and keep 'em, I've got some property on the moon that I'd like to sell you for $2 and eight," said Sammie Walker, 64, a county road department retiree whose wife, Alice, works in prison food services. Sam Escue, general manager of contractor Consolidated Foods, said losing the county business would hurt him and expressed doubt that he could work with Aramark. Representatives from Aramark said they'd reached out to the company. The workers wouldn't get the same defined-benefit pension benefits, vacation days and sick days that they get now, said Kennedy and Aramark human resources representative Karen Franklin. "The more we delve into this the more shameful I think this policy is," Bailey said. "I don't know what the administration is thinking. I hope this is not a trend." Commissioners did vote 3-1 in favor of a three-year, $12.7 million contract renewal with Aramark to provide food at the Shelby County Jail and Jail East.

August 17, 2011 Commercial Appeal
Thirty-one county jobs and hundreds of thousands of tax dollars are at stake as the Shelby County Commission deliberates today on a proposal to give a $3.2 million contract to food service giant Aramark to prepare meals at the Shelby County Division of Corrections. Proposals to outsource food services at the East Memphis prison came before the County Commission in August 2008 and June 2009 and failed in the face of employee opposition. But commissioners actually approved the outsourcing concept in an annual budget document earlier this year. Some commissioners apparently weren't aware that the budget that they had passed endorsed the plan. The county administration presented the outsourcing plan at a committee meeting on June 1, a day when only a handful of commissioners came. Commissioners present that day agreed to the plan and other cost-cutting measures, and the matter didn't come up again until after the budget passed. "Some of us up here were asleep at the wheel, and they slipped this in," the commission's chairman, Sidney Chism, said last month. The county will save $250,000 in its general fund and another $400,000 in the corrections fund, County Chief Administrative Officer Harvey Kennedy said. Several factors will reduce the harm to employees, Kennedy said. The county is likely to keep at least two of the 31 workers and several are already eligible for county retirement benefits. And the government expects Philadelphia-based Aramark to hire 21 people. The county contracted out food services at the jail at 201 Poplar in 2002 to Aramark, but employees and organized labor have protested attempts to do the same at the correction center near Shelby Farms. The resolution that the administrators are voting on says that Aramark will pay between $15.97 per hour and $17.36 per hour, plus benefits. Some workers are worried that pay would be lower. At a hearing last month, Lawrence Black expressed concern that his hourly wage would drop from $15.76 now to $9 in the future and said the reduction would be a tough burden.

July 7, 2011 Commercial Appeal
More than two weeks after the Shelby County Commission finalized its $1.2 billion annual budget, the commission's chairman said some commissioners didn't realize that the budget endorsed a mayor's administration plan to lay off 31 food service employees at the Shelby County Correctional Center and send the work to a private company. "Some of us up here were asleep at the wheel, and they slipped this in," said the chairman, Sidney Chism. Commissioner Mike Carpenter said commissioners should have paid better attention to a list of proposed cost-cutting measures. "It was right there in the center of the page, week after week after week in budget discussions," he said. On Wednesday, some of the workers who are slated to lose their jobs protested to the County Commission. Current workers lucky enough to get jobs with the private company will likely earn less than they do now, said Lawrence Black, a 57-year-old food service supervisor and a labor union steward. He spoke of his hourly wage dropping from $15.76 now to $9 in the future. "That's going to be a tough burden on me," he said. County Chief Administrative Officer Harvey Kennedy said the county is already talking with Philadelphia-based food service giant Aramark, which has an existing contract to provide food at the county jails but not the state-affiliated correctional center. Wednesday's discussion ended with the matter unresolved.

August 1, 2006 Commercial Appeal
When voters in Thursday's general elections are presented their choices for Shelby County sheriff, there will be two names: the incumbent Republican Mark Luttrell, and his Democratic challenger, Reginald French. But there is a Republican lieutenant in the sheriff's department who wants to tip the balance as a write-in candidate. John Harvey admits he has one goal: "I'm using all available means to make sure Mark Luttrell is not sheriff on Sept. 1." On Monday, Harvey sent an e-mail to Shelby County attorney Brian Kuhn accusing Luttrell and several other members of the sheriff's office with accepting tickets to a dinner cruise at a Chicago law enforcement convention from Aramark, the company that has a food services contract with the county and the sheriff's office. Kuhn said Monday he sent an e-mail to Luttrell asking about it, and would evaluate Harvey's complaint. Luttrell said he remembered the dinner, but did not remember if Aramark paid for tickets. He said he did not believe it would have violated county ethics policies because the dinner was open to thousands of others at the convention.

Snyder County Jail, Selingrove, Pennsylvania
October 17, 2005 The Daily Item
The Snyder County prison board has received a verbal agreement that a food service company will continue feeding inmates through the end of the year. The board's one-year contract with Aramark expired Oct. 1, but the county is presently engaged in a legal battle with the Teamsters Union regarding last year's hiring of the independent food provider. The issue came about last fall when the prison board decided to eliminate staff at the prison who had been preparing meals and hire the company with an aim of saving about $100,000 a year. The union filed a grievance, claiming the county violated the labor relations law by cutting eight union positions. The grievance was upheld by the State Labor Relations Board, but now the county is appealing. Pending the appeal, the county approached Aramark about continuing to provide three meals daily even after its contract ended.

March 31, 2005 The Daily Item
Six months after the Snyder County prison board made a cost-cutting move replacing four union employees with a food-service company, the state labor board has ordered the county to reinstate the workers. Teamsters Local 764, which represents the prison employees, charged the county with unfair labor practices for hiring Aramark Food Service to provide meals to inmates in place of four union kitchen employees. The prison board inked a one-year contract with Aramark Oct. 1, claiming the outside contractor would save the county about $100,000 a year. The union sought to keep the four employees on the payroll, but county officials said Aramark had its own employees. Citing the single meeting between the union and prison board on the matter, the labor board found "no evidence" the two parties engaged in mediation and determined the county failed to "bargain in good faith." In its ruling, the labor board ordered the county to rescind the contract with Aramark, restore the food service work to the union, rehire the four employees and pay them lost wages and benefits.

February 10, 2005 Daily Item
Police clad in riot gear were called Tuesday night to assist Snyder County Jail corrections officers in dealing with 13 hungry and angry inmates who refused to return to their cells until they received more food. The prisoners, federal and out-of-county inmates, were in the recreation room Tuesday evening when they became upset that the commissary failed to arrive on time, Warden George Nye said. When prison staff tried to move them back to their cells, he said, 13 inmates refused to budge. About 15 police equipped in full riot gear showed up at the facility at 600 Old Colony Road. Nye said negotiations with the prisoners began immediately. The main request from the inmates was for sandwiches, he said. "They were hungry and angry because they didn’t get the commissary," the warden said, referring to food items prisoners are allowed to buy with their own money. Sandwiches were made and brought in for each protesting inmate. Afterward, the inmates returned to their cells without injury to anyone involved or damage to the facility, Nye said. The incident lasted about four hours, he said. The extra food was a concession the warden was willing to oblige. Nye conceded the inmates had received substantial meals before Aramark Food Services took over the kitchen a few months ago and began serving daily meals of 3,000 calories. The switch is saving the county about $100,000 a year. "We had a heck of a menu before," Nye said. Inmates "don’t get the extras, like ice cream, that they used to get." Teamsters representative Donnie Deivert said budget cutbacks are putting the corrections officers he represents at risk.

Somerset County School Board, Bernards, New Jersey
February 2, 2010 AAP.com
Four Shore area men have been arrested in an alleged scheme to artificially inflate bills for school maintenance work that cost taxpayers in Bernards, Somerset County, at least $2.1 million over a five-year period. Appearing in court here Tuesday were Robert E. Titus Jr., 52, of Jackson; John Paris, 61, of Middletown's Belford section; Edward Beach, 52, of Toms River and Gabriel Caponetto, 50, of Howell. Somerset County Prosecutor Wayne Forrest announced the arrests during a news briefing Tuesday morning in his Somerville office, and said at least two state agencies will review the case. The overbillings took place between January 2003 and October 2008, and part of the proceeds supported Titus' gambling habit, according to Forrest. "So far, we've been able to prove inflated invoices totaling $2.1 million," said Forrest, who added the amount lost by the Bernards district probably never will be known, since the exact price of each job, bid at competitive levels during those years, never was explored through the bidding process. The scheme was uncovered during a yearlong investigation. According to Forrest, Titus, as an employee of the district's facilities-management vendor, Philadelphia-based Aramark Corp., submitted inflated bills for various projects performed by Paris' construction firm and subcontractors. Aramark, a national corporation that provides similar services to school districts throughout the country, was unaware of the overbilling and is not charged in the case. Aramark has since reimbursed the school district for what is believed to be the entire amount of the thefts, according to Forrest. Aramark also provides food-service and janitorial work for the district, but the overbilling concerns mostly maintenance projects, noted Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Chirachilla. "Various projects, things like door replacement, a boiler, storm-drain replacements," he said. Aramark pays it back -- Forrest said the investigation began in December 2008, after the Prosecutor's Office was approached by Aramark and the Bernards school district with word of a long-term theft against the district by Titus, an Aramark employee. Titus had been the company's onsite manager in the district since 1999, a position that enabled him to hire contractors to complete various construction projects without the district going through the public bidding process. Since 2003, Titus allegedly used the same contractor — Paris — for all projects, repairs and maintenance he oversaw. At times, Paris also hired subcontractors, none of whom is charged in the scheme. "Defendant Paris then submitted invoices to Titus that would be processed by Aramark and ultimately submitted to the school district for payment," Forrest said. "However, unbeknownst to Aramark, the invoices had been inflated by Titus to allow him to receive monies to which he was not entitled," the prosecutor said. The difference between the actual and inflated cost was then given to Titus as a kickback by Paris as a payment for providing Paris with a steady flow of work in the district, according to Forrest. The defendants tried to cover up the thefts by having Paris deposit the inflated checks into his business account. The checks then either were made payable to cash and taken to Caponetto, who would add or substitute his company's name on the payee line, endorse the checks, cash them and send the money back to Titus, again through a third party. Caponetto was given $100 for each check he cashed. Checks also were written by Paris with the payee line left blank and taken to a check-cashing store, Check Cashing Station in Hazlet, where Beach allegedly entered the check-cashing client database, chose an existing name at random and entered it on the payee line for Paris. Beach then received a portion of the check-cashing fee that was normally charged. Discrepancies spotted -- Forrest said the scheme was uncovered in July 2008, when newly appointed Bernards School District Business Administrator Nick Markarian began noticing inconsistencies between invoices submitted by Titus and the actual work performed. After Titus was confronted by Schools Superintendent Valerie Goger, he admitted "doctoring" an invoice, apologized, cleaned out his office and left the district, according to Forrest. Aramark, Titus' employer, then launched its own investigation, Forrest stated, turning over an internal audit to the Prosecutor's Office that revealed approximately $2.1 million in thefts over the five-plus years. Titus and Paris face charges of money laundering, theft by deception and conspiracy, while Beach faces money-laundering and conspiracy charges, as well as charges of forgery and uttering forged instruments. Caponetto is charged only with money laundering.

Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility, Las Cruces, New Mexico
June 19, 2012 Albuquerque Journal
The food services contractor employee who was caught trying to bring drugs to a Las Cruces inmate was arrested this afternoon, officials said. Candace Holmes, 20, an Aramark employee, was arrested at about 1:30 p.m. without incident, according to a news release from the Corrections Department. She was caught attempting to smuggle 26 grams of cocaine and 46 grams of heroin into Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility. She was allegedly working with 31-year-old Frank Morales Jr., who Holmes said was her fiance. Police said she voluntarily surrendered the drugs on Friday. Holmes is charged with two counts each of trafficking, conspiracy to traffic and bringing contraband into a prison facility, the release said. She is being held at the Dona Ana County Detention Center.

Tarrant County Jail, Texas
For the third time in less than a year, Tarrant County commissioners are expected Tuesday to award a jail food service contract.  The recommended contractor, Mid-America Services, will provide three daily meals for about 3,300 inmates. The contract is worth about $3.79 million a year.  Mid-America already runs the jail commissary, which sells snacks and personal items to inmates. Its chief executive is Jack Madera, a controversial businessman with long-running ties to several local politicians, including Sheriff Dee Anderson and Commissioner J.D. Johnson.  Both officials have said Madera is a friend but have pledged that the friendship will in no way color their decisions about the contract.  Madera was indicted earlier this year on charges of using forged documents to win a 1997 food-service contract in Kaufman County, but the charges were dropped.  With the expiration date looming, county officials requested proposals for a new contract, which was ultimately awarded to Aramark Correctional Services.  But inmates and county officials alike had many complaints about Aramark, which is based in Philadelphia. Aramark resigned its contract, and Mid-States, as the back-up contractor, resumed providing food service at the jail.  (Star-Telegram, July 20, 2004)

February 25, 2004
Mid-States Services - the Hurst company in line to take over Tarrant County's jail food contract if the current company fails to do a better job -- has its own food-quality problems, a former Mid-States manager told commissioners Tuesday.  Emilio Gonzalez, who until January was director of operations for Mid-States, said the former jail contractor often took outdated food from its commissary operations and served it to inmates after removing packaging that listed the freshness dates.  "Vendors need to make a profit, but it doesn't need to be at the county's expense," Gonzalez told county commissioners Tuesday during their meeting.  Mid-States Chief Executive John Sammons said the allegations are untrue and blamed them on a competitor that he declined to name.  Sammons said some boxes of outdated food were found in Mid-States' stocks when the company provided food service to the jail, but he said those boxes had already been designated for disposal when jailers told the company to remove them.  "This is another desperate attempt by those who would like to cause Mid- States problems, at a time when the commissioners are looking at us as a back-up supplier," he said.  Last week, commissioners put current contractor Aramark Correctional Services on 30 days' notice to improve the quality of food and service or be removed from the contract.  Mid-States, which held the jail food contract until December, was designated as a backup supplier if Aramark failed to meet the terms.  Sheriff Dee Anderson said Tuesday that in the week since the commissioners issued the ultimatum, Aramark has made improvements and inmate complaints are declining.  Checks of the food service have found improved food temperatures and larger portions, he said.  But the company still has a long way to go to be acceptable, he said.  "If I had to make a recommendation today, I'd cancel the contract," Anderson said.  As to Gonzalez's allegations about Mid-States, Anderson said he would discuss them with commissioners.  "If any of it is true, it's disturbing," he said.  Gonzalez apologized to commissioners for not coming forward sooner, and said that during contract deliberations last fall he was still employed by Mid-States and feared retaliation.  He said he resigned because of concerns about Mid-States' operations. Sammons said that Gonzalez left Mid-States on good terms to take another job and that he was disappointed by the comments.  An Aramark spokeswoman did not return a phone call seeking comment Tuesday but has said Aramark officials believe they are meeting contractual obligations.  Commissioners did not discuss Gonzalez's comments at the Tuesday meeting because the issue was not posted as an item for consideration. After the meeting, however, commissioners questioned the timing of the comments.  "I'm always grateful for people to come forward, but it's odd that he would come forward at this time," Precinct 1 Commissioner Dionne Bagsby said.  Precinct 3 Commissioner Glen Whitley said he gave no credence to Gonzalez's comments and would vote to bring in Mid-States if Aramark did not improve its service.  "It just amazes me that this guy shows up to speak against Mid-States a week after we put Aramark on 30-days' notice," he said.  Mid-States was the food service operator that served meals to inmates in the Tarrant County Jail until Aramark won a $3.3 million contract over Mid-States, Mid-America and Canteen Correctional Services.  Mid-America -- run by former Mid-States executive Jack Madera -- operates the jail commissary, which sells toiletries and snack items to jail inmates. Madera has been indicted along with two other men on charges that they used a forged document to win a jail food-service contract in Kaufman County.  The indictments stem from an investigation into whether Madera influenced Dallas County Sheriff Jim Bowles with thousands of dollars in favors before Bowles picked Madera's company for a $20 million jail commissary contract.  The scope has widened to include Madera's dealings with other counties, including Tarrant and Denton.  (Lawyer Texas Parole)

February 19, 2004
It would be easy to dismiss inmates' complaints about jail food simply as whining -- not worthy of serious attention because incarceration is not meant to be a pleasant experience.  But in the case of the Tarrant County Jail and the meals being served by its newly contracted food service provider, Aramark Correctional Services, the food being distributed to prisoners not only does not meet the taste test -- it may actually pose health risks.  Inmates have been complaining about the quality of the food since Aramark began serving the county's four jail sites in December under a $3.3 million annual contract.  In response to the complaints and boycott of the meals by some prisoners, county purchasing director Jack Beacham and other county officials went to inspect the food service operation.  Beacham said they saw 17 pans of soured pinto beans, discovered foods that were being kept at improper temperatures, and witnessed one employee drop tortillas on the floor and then place them back on the service line.  (Lawyer Texas Parole)

Thompson Academy, Broward County, Florida
June 23, 2006 Miami Herald
Lunch at Thompson Academy, a youth camp for delinquents in Broward County, recently featured some unexpected cuisine: maggots. One teenager decided he didn't like the extra protein on his green beans and complained to his parents. The parents complained to Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, which then complained to the state's child-abuse hot line. The Broward Sheriff's Office investigated. The results: Police with pictures of maggots in the food. The food vendor summarily fired. And the state Department of Juvenile Justice, responsible for overseeing the camp, ``horrified.'' ''We are outraged and horrified at the quality of food served to youth at Thompson Academy,'' said department spokeswoman Cynthia Lorenzo. ``DJJ does not tolerate such improper service to youth in our care.'' And at least one juvenile judge also is paying attention. Palm Beach Circuit Judge Ron Alvarez, who has been a frequent critic of conditions at Juvenile Justice's lockup in his county, said he and other judges are considering asking the department to find another food service company for the site. The facility gets its meals from the same company that served Thompson Academy: Trinity Food Services, based in Homestead. ''The callousness, the disregard for these kids as human beings made me so angry,'' Alvarez said of the Thompson Academy investigation, which he heard about from the county's Legal Aid office. Thompson Academy is a 112-bed moderate-risk youth camp for troubled boys on the Pembroke Pines campus of what used to be South Florida State Hospital. It is operated under contract with Juvenile Justice by Youth Services International, a Sarasota-based youth corrections company with seven programs in Florida. Jesse Williams, a senior vice president at Youth Services International, said that on the day the police arrived to investigate the complaint -- and confirmed the existence of maggots -- his company immediately fired Trinity Food Services and bought the boys a new meal of roast chicken and rolls. ''The next day, we had a new provider in there serving food -- starting with the breakfast meal,'' Williams said. ``That was the last day they served a meal to kids at Thompson Academy.'' It was by no means, however, the last time Trinity served food to kids in state custody. Juvenile Justice currently has $3.7 million in contracts with Trinity, which is responsible for food service at all 26 of the state's juvenile detention centers, including in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, said Lorenzo, the spokeswoman. On average, Trinity is paid $2.62 per child for every meal served. And Trinity continues to provide meals to children at other Youth Services International facilities as well, said Sarah Hada, a publicist representing Trinity. ''Trinity Services Group takes these allegations very seriously,'' Hada said in an e-mail to The Miami Herald on Thursday.

Trenton School Board, Trenton, New Jersey
June 30, 2010 Star Ledger
Aramark defended its operation of the school district's cafeterias this week as parents claimed the company gave their children poor quality food and demanded its contract not be renewed. The parents who complained to the school board during its meeting Monday included Waldemar Ronquillo, who distributed copies of a photo he said he took of his son's cafeteria tray during a recent lunch at Woodrow Wilson School. The Styrofoam tray in the picture contained a serving of macaroni and cheese, a piece of broccoli and an unidentified third dish. Two other compartments on the tray were empty. "Tell me if you guys want to eat that lunch," Ronquillo, the school's PTO president, said to the board members. "My kids come home hungry because they don't eat in school. They throw the food away." "Please, bring some better food for the kids," he said. Other city residents, including Councilman Manuel Segura, renewed their protests against the privatization of school services. Aramark took over the food service last fall, and the district is considering hiring a private security company to replace its school guards. "I went to one school where I saw the kids throwing the food in the garbage," Segura said. "Privatizing hasn't worked. Hold them accountable, or bring someone else who really cares." The board also heard from Aramark's regional manager, Alicia Kent, who gave a presentation describing the company's work since it was hired to help eliminate the district's $3 million annual food service deficit. Total costs have fallen from $6.8 million last year to $3.7 million this year, according to her presentation. Aramark rehired 117 former district cafeteria workers at lower pay, as well as a few new workers, cutting labor costs from $3.7 million to $2.3 million. It spent $1.7 million less on food, in part by using free government commodities. The company pushed to enroll more students in the free- and reduced-price lunch program, and began providing free breakfasts to all students last November, she said.

Union County Jail, Union County, New Jersey
July 13, 2010 News-Record
Union County police officers arrested an Elizabeth woman on July 6 following an investigation into tobacco smuggling at the Union County Jail, officials said. The month-long investigation resulted in the apprehension and arrest of Shakiedah Payne, 30, an employee of Aramark, the company that provides food service at the jail. Authorities said Payne admitted to smuggling contraband in the form of tobacco products into the jail. She was released pending a court appearance.

University of Central Arkansas, Conway, Arkansas
August 30, 2012 Northwest Arkansas Business Journal
Former University of Central Arkansas president Allen Meadors is facing a misdemeanor charge stemming from a deal with food vendor Aramark. The office of Faulkner County Prosecutor Cody Hiland filed the charge on Wednesday, nearly a year after the UCA board began an investigation of Meadors. Hiland was out of the office Thursday morning and unavailable for comment. Meadors and board Chairman Scott Roussel apologized last year for not revealing that Aramark offered $700,000 for renovating the UCA president's home if its contract with the school was renewed. Several trustees have they didn't know the Aramark offer was tied to the renewal of its contract with UCA. The trustees said they thought the $700,000 was a gift. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported Wednesday that Meadors' charge was solicitation of tampering with a public record, which "carries a punishment of up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine." Meadors "is accused of urging a vice president to destroy a letter that said the offer would be in exchange for renewing Aramark's contract," the newspaper said.

June 19, 2012 AP
University of Central Arkansas officials are saying little about the resignation of chief of staff Jack Gillean. Gillean has not returned messages left on his cell phone and a UCA spokesman told the Log Cabin Democrat on Monday only that Friday’s resignation is not related to an investigation into money given UCA by food vendor Aramark. Former UCA President Allen Meadors and board President Scott Rousell each resigned following revelations that $700,000 given by Aramark last August to renovate the president’s home was dependent upon Aramark’s contract being renewed for seven years. UCA spokesman Jeff Pitchford said Gillean’s duties included overseeing the campus police department and the affirmative action program. Pitchford said interim UCA President Tom Courtway was not available for comment.

April 27, 2012 Log Cabin
University of Central Arkansas Faculty Senate members are calling for a trustee’s resignation. The group voted Thursday on a resolution requesting Scott Roussel, a real estate business man of Searcy appointed to the board for a second term in 2008 by Gov. Mike Beebe, to leave his post. The action follows the board’s approval of a new deal with Aramark, one that would “wipe clean” $6.7 million in unamortized funds and interest. Roussel voted to approve the contract along with other trustees as it was presented, though governing groups on campus said they believed the trustee should recuse. Thursday’s resolution states that Roussel “was cognizant of the conditions described by Aramark in the acceptance of $700,000 in return for a seven-year, no bid contract for food services on the UCA campus...” It further explains that Roussel “would or should have been aware” of potential damage to the university’s reputation when he announced the large “gift” from the university’s food vendor, and did not disclose, by his account without purpose, that the pledge was contingent upon the renewal of the company’s contract. The money would have furthered renovations under way at the UCA president’s home that was occupied by former president Allen Meadors, who resigned last September after trustees learned of the stipulation. UCA conducted its own interviews shortly after the discovery, but then turned the investigation into possible improprieties by university staff over to Arkansas State Police. State police gave a “lengthy” case file to Twentieth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland earlier this month. Hiland said Friday that his office is still reviewing the file to determine if a criminal act has been committed.

September 23, 2011 Booneville Democrat
A prosecutor Thursday asked Arkansas State Police to investigate the University of Central Arkansas’ contract with a food vendor that hastened university president’s departure from the school. The contract with Aramark included a $700,000 donation for renovations of the president’s residence contingent upon UCA retaining Aramark as the university’s food service vendor. The UCA board of Trustees earlier this month voted to buy out the rest of UCA President Allen Meadors’ contract after board members apparently felt he misrepresented the offer to them as a gift. State Police spokesman Bill Sadler said Thursday that Faulkner County Prosecutor Cody Hiland asked the state police to investigate the contract. “The request transmitted to us by was to investigate the contract between the University of Central Arkansas and Aramark,” Sadler said. “Once the agent is assigned ... his first assignment will be to meet with the prosecutor and receive some more specific information.” Hiland did not immediately return a call seeking comment Thursday. A committee created by the UCA board to look into the contract issue voted to ask the university’s internal audit office to review the arrangement.

September 7, 2011 Arkansas Times
"There's right and there's wrong and there's UCA." I don't even know what that means. I doubt that the Conway insider who uttered it to me Friday afternoon does either. I use it, though, because it conveys the relevant utter frustration. A few years ago the University of Central Arkansas was the hottest college in the state. It was located in a booming suburban college town. It had a politically astute president. Enrollment was skyrocketing. Television advertising was Landersesque. Then that politically astute president, Lu Hardin, got caught cutting ethical corners to gin up some bonus money for himself to pay gambling debts. He will be going to prison any day now, surely. The UCA Board of Trustees, looking around for the anti-Lu, found its man in Dr. Allen Meadors, a campus graduate with experience as a small-college president and a meek manner. Not long ago I made a crack about Hardin's ethical wasteland in the presence of a leading UCA staff member. It angered her. She explained that she loved the school and that it was steadily righting itself and, essentially, that a smart-aleck press commentator ought to watch his mouth. But now this: Meadors was revealed this week to have misrepresented to the UCA board that the campus food vendor, a company called Aramark, was donating $700,000 to fix up the president's official home across the street from the campus. The board, initially as blindly obeisant to administrative happy talk as with Hardin before, said sure, yes, without delay, we accept this gift for this most urgent academic need and we authorize preliminary architectural designs and cost estimates. Then came that pesky reporter for the statewide daily, famous for bedeviling Hardin, and still wielding the Freedom of Information law like a switchblade. She asked board members if they had known a little detail: Aramark actually would donate the money from one hand only if it was guaranteed that it would reel more money from UCA into the other hand by getting its food service contract renewed without competitive bidding for a period at least long enough for a guaranteed realization of enough profit to get back the gift. Why, no, we didn't know that, said some of these board members, and, by golly, we are just a little bit ticked. They called themselves to a special meeting. This was not charity, but amortizing. It was a food service vendor seeking to escape a new round of competitive bidding by going into the home improvement lending business on the side. It was an advance on marked-up grub the kids would eat later in their hostage environment. I'm advised that this kind of arrangement is not uncommon. But it ought to be. And if it is common, why conspicuously neglect to mention it? Meadors, going all-in for damage control, told the board in this second special meeting that he had erred and that he would recommend that the school not accept the money as offered. He recommended that the school open the food service contract for bidding. The board withdrew its previous approval for a housing allowance by which Meadors and his wife could rent suitable quarters elsewhere until the presidential home was renovated. Meadors' wife, a stronger personality, has been spending quite a bit of time with family in North Carolina. Just 24 hours later, on Friday afternoon, the board met in special session again, this time by phone. Then the board reconvened in public and bought out Meadors' contract. The board could have restored Meadors' authority to live temporarily off campus. But that might simply have kept matters festering — a la Hardin — and nobody wanted to go through that again. Meadors may be a bit of a victim, just as UCA. He clearly erred by not revealing the full nature of the arrangement with the food vendor. But it is entirely possible that he considered such deals commonplace. He may have felt some pressure close to home about inadequate living arrangements, the short-term solution to which got sacrificed in this fast-roiling controversy. So now UCA will start trying again to right the ship.

September 1, 2011 AP
A $700,000 gift from Aramark to the University of Central Arkansas came with a condition that Aramark's food service contract with the university be renewed. At least five members of UCA's Board of Trustees say they did not know about the condition. A letter from Aramark district manager to UCA vice president Diane Newton calls the money an unrestricted grant contingent upon a seven year extension of Aramark's food service contract. UCA President Allen Meadors told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that he takes responsibility for the trustees not knowing the terms of the gift. Meadors says such conditions are not unusual. Trustee Rush Harding III told the Log Cabin Democrat agreed the transaction is common — but said trustees should have been informed.

Wabash Valley Correctional Facility, Carlisle, Indiana
April 14, 2010 Green County Daily World
A Wabash Valley Correctional Facility contracted food service employee discovered today the recipe for trafficking with offenders includes arrest and a trip to the Sullivan County jail. ARAMARK employee Chandra Beeman, 28 of Sullivan, Indiana allegedly trafficked a cell phone and 243 grams of tobacco to offenders she supervised in a facility segregation unit this afternoon. Alert correctional staff made the discovery after monitoring her activities and searching the workers. Beeman faces a Class C Felony for Trafficking a Cell Phone and a Class A Misdemeanor for Trafficking Tobacco. Internal Affairs Correctional Police Officer Frank Littlejohn's investigation revealed Beeman made arrangements with offender food service worker Jerole Adams to traffick the items into the facility. Adams, 35, and four other offender workers have been segregated as the probe continues. Adams was sentenced to 40 years on a Dearborn County Dealing Cocaine conviction. Adams earliest release date is April 2026. Indiana State Police transported Beeman to Sullivan County for processing after Littlejohn placed her under arrest. Bond was set at $18,000 with Beeman making bail late Wednesday afternoon. Beeman's employment with ARAMARK has been terminated. ARAMARK is under contract to provide food services for the Indiana Department of Correction.

Wachovia Center, Pennsylvania
An Aramark vendor working at the Wachovia Center has been arrested for the sexual assault of a teen-age girl after a Sixers-Knicks game.  Joseph Rota, 40, has been charged with attempted rape and related charges in the March 12 assault, police said. He is accused of forcing a 17-year-old girl into a service room at the arena and holding her against her will. He also forced her to perform oral sex on him and attempted to sexually assault her, police said.  (Philadelphia Daily News, March 25, 2004)

Warren County Jail, Warren, Kentucky
September 24, 2009 WBKO
A Bowling Green woman was put behind bars and two inmates remain there, after local authorities break up a drug smuggling ring at the Warren County Regional Jail. Following a joint investigation by Warren County Jailer Jackie Strode and the Bowling Green/Warren County Drug Task Force, indictments were returned charging Aramark employee Georgia Mueller with trafficking in cocaine and promoting contraband. Two inmates were also charged with complicity to traffic in a controlled substance and complicity to promote contraband. Tracie Reeder was arrested September 18, and Scottie Thomas was arrested September 21 in a halfway house in Lexington by Kentucky State Police. The investigation revealed cash was being paid to smuggle cocaine, marijuana and tobacco into the jail and then distribute it to inmates.

Washington, DC
October 19, 2011 Washington Post
Former Arlington County Sheriff Thomas N. Faust has been tapped by D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray (D) as acting director of the District Department of Corrections. Faust, who must be confirmed by the D.C. Council, said at Gray's weekly news briefing that his years as an elected sheriff have made him sensitive to community needs. “This is not my jail system,” he said. “This is the system of the citizens of the District of Columbia.” Faust retired as Arlington’s sheriff in 2000, less than a year into his third four-year term, to become executive director of the Alexandria-based National Sheriff’s Association. He had worked in the sheriff’s office for a total of 24 years. In Arlington, he is credited with the opening of the new jail and justice center in 1994, and with implementing innovative programs, including substance abuse treatment and parenting classes for inmates. Faust took the helm of the Department of Corrections last week, according to a biography of him posted on the agency’s Web site. Faust worked most recently as a public safety consultant, and before that was a vice president for Aramark Correctional Services.

Westville Correctional Facility, Westville, Indiana
March 18, 2009 South Bend Tribune
A food service employee was arrested at Westville Correctional Facility today (Wednesday), accused of smuggling drugs and cell phones into the prison, according to a news release. Erika Garner, 52, of Michigan City, an Aramark Food Service employee, was arrested by Indiana State Police on suspicion of trafficking with an offender and bribery of a public official, the release stated. During a routine search at the prison’s main gate, Garner was reportedly found to be in possession of a package of marijuana and three cell phones and chargers.

Wyandotte County Jail, Wyandotte, Kansas

The Wyandotte County sheriff closed the county jail's kitchen for 24 hours after an inspection revealed sanitary and storage problems.  Joe Connor, county health director, said the problems were discovered Thursday in an annual inspection of the juvenile detention center. Part of that inspection was the food service area, which also serves adult inmates.  Brad Ratliff, a spokesman for the sheriff, said the health violations included the buildup of grease and the improper storage of items in the kitchen, which serves about 450 inmates.  The department has a three-year contract with Aramark Inc. to operate the kitchen. The company, which is paid about $669,000 annually, is responsible for the cleaning.  (Kansas City, August 28, 2004)

Yarl's Wood, Benfordshire, England
May 23, 2006 The Mirror
A WOMAN was sacked from a detention centre after a criminal stole her identity. Melanie Dudley has no previous convictions but her bosses at Yarl's Wood detention centre accused her of concealing a criminal past. She was sacked on the spot by cleaning contractor Aramark and has since been unable to find another job. She later found a Scottish offender with a string of 30 convictions used her name and date of birth as an alias. Mrs Dudley, 35, was sacked from the Bedfordshire centre last February for failing Home Office security clearance. The Home Office told her she should contact police to try to clarify the situation. But her Criminal Records Bureau check shows she has no convictions or cautions. She told the Daily Mirror: "The Home Office and my bosses won't believe and I can't find any work with this hanging over me." Aramark said: "It's not company policy to comment on matters between an individual and the company."