#282 Feb 9, 2012
No decision on prison
By DUSTY VASSEY
No decision was reached last week
during a hearing to attempt to block the
tax sale of Irwin County Detention Center.
Attorneys representing Irwin County
and ICDC argued before Chief Superior
Court Judge Bill Reinhardt Friday at the
Irwin County Courthouse to determine
whether a temporary restraining order
would be granted to block the tax sale
scheduled for March 6.
John Flanders Kennedy, the attorney
for the owners of ICDC, Municipal
Detention, LLC, argued that Irwin
County owes the prison $686,232,
which prevents the prison from paying
part of its $1.6 million tax debt.
According to the original agreements
between ICDC and the county, the
county was to pay $25 per day for each
inmate over 30 that the privately owned
prison houses. All Irwin County inmates
are housed at the prison.
Terry O’Brien, one of the principal
stakeholders in the companies that own
and manage the prison, said the prison
has not been paid by the county since at
least 2007. According to O’Brien’s testimony,
Irwin County Commission
Chairman Joey Whitley said the county
had not received invoices about the
money, but O’Brien made sure the
invoices were sent starting in 2010,
which was after the prison be
#283 Mar 7, 2012
By DUSTY VASSEY
The tax sale scheduled this week for
Irwin County Detention Center was
stopped due to a legal action in Nevada.
After months of legal wrangling, the
privately owned prison was scheduled to
be sold at auction Tuesday, March 6, but
three creditors who are allegedly owed
money by the prison’s owners, Municipal
Corrections LLC, filed a petition for
involuntary bankruptcy against the
County Attorney Warren Mixon said
the involuntary bankruptcy petition,
which was filed in federal court in Nevada,
puts a stay on all other legal proceedings
involving the company. A hearing on
the bankruptcy petition will be held April
11 at 9:30 a.m. in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The prison was scheduled to be sold
due to a foreclosure hearing held in January
in which Irwin County Tax Commissioner
Sandra Paulk was trying to recover
more than $1.6 million owed for past
due taxes, mostly to local government
entities. Most of the taxes were owed
from 2010 and 2011, but a portion of the
debt stems from 2009.
The Nevada petition was filed by three
bondholders — Hamlin Capital Management,
LLC, Oppenheimer Rochester
National Municipals and UMB. According
to the Las Vegas Sun newspaper,
those three creditors are owed more than
$54 million by Municipal Corrections.
It is unknown what the latest drama
will ultimately mean for Irwin County’s
long battle to try to recover the taxes. The
county is also being sued by the owners
of ICDC to recover unpaid fees for housing
county inmates. The county plans to
counter-sue to recover unpaid administrative
fees, but the Nevada filing leaves the
“I guess we’ll have to wait and see
#284 Mar 7, 2012
Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012 | 8:29 p.m.
Bondholders owed more than $54 million filed a Chapter 11 involuntary bankruptcy petition in Las Vegas on Wednesday against a private prison company.
The filing was made against Municipal Corrections, LLC, which has offices in Stratham, N.H., and Atlanta.
The involuntary filing apparently was made in bankruptcy court in Las Vegas because Municipal Corrections is registered as a Nevada limited liability company.
The filing, if approved by the bankruptcy court, would subject the company’s finances to court supervision.
Records from the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, which collects municipal debt data, show Municipal Corrections has a prison agreement with Irwin County, Ga.
Under the 2007 deal, the Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Ga.; south of Atlanta, was expanded using county-issued bonds.
Municipal Corrections, an investor in the prison, leases the expanded prison to the county. Some of the bonds refinanced existing debt.
The records also show there’s been a default in payment obligations for the municipal bonds — officially called Irwin County, Ga., Participation Certificates — backed by the prison and the revenue it generates.
A request for comment on the involuntary bankruptcy filing was placed with Municipal Corrections, which is headed by managing member Terrence O’Brien.
The petitioning creditors in Wednesday’s $54.195 million involuntary bankruptcy filing included Hamlin Capital Management, LLC of New York; Oppenheimer Rochester National Municipals of Rochester, N.Y.; and UMB N.A. of Minneapolis and Kansas City.
UMB is the bond trustee charged with representing the interests of bondholders, and its claim was made in bankruptcy court on behalf of all bondholders.
The petitioning creditors are represented by the Las Vegas office of the law firm Ballard Spahr, LLP and the Minneapolis office of the law firm Dorsey & Whitney LLP.
They allege in the petition that Municipal Corrections "is generally not paying debts as they become due."
UMB, in a separate state court proceeding in Minnesota, has said the prison has a capacity of 1,200 inmates but for the past several years has seen occupancy of just 700 to 800 inmates.
That means revenue from government agencies housing inmates there has been sufficient to pay operating expenses but has been insufficient to pay any debt service on the bonds and property taxes on the jail, UMB attorneys said
#285 Apr 16, 2012
Dang didnt chief anderson get fired for sexual harrassment wasn't he Irwin county training officer
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