The Lafourche Parish Council rejected a bid for health care services for the parish jail Tuesday night, forcing the administration to advertise again for bids with less than 30 days before the current contract expires.
The council voted 4-3 on the new contract with Quality Correctional Health, which failed for a lack of at least five members in support. Those voting against were Councilmen Jerry Jones, Jerry Lafont and Daniel Lorraine. Council members Michael Gros and Luci Sposito were absent.
The current contract holder, Correct Health, objected to the new contract, contesting that it was not notified of the bid process. The parish said the request for bids was published for a month and that the company was notified of the upcoming bid months in advance.
Correct Health has held the contract for 11 years.
A representative of the company said it could be willing to extend the current contract by 30 days to allow more time for the rebid process.
Health care for the parish’s inmates is the responsibility of the parish and costs roughly $1.2 million a year. Councilman Craig Jaccuzzo, who is also running for Lafourche Parish sheriff this fall, warned council members that the cost could double with the increased capacity at the new jail.
Parish Risk Manager Brent Abadie, who represented the administration in Parish President Jimmy Cantrelle’s absence at the meeting, said the parish is in “ongoing discussions” with the Sheriff’s Office over how to share some of these costs.
The council’s Legislative Internal Auditor Reggie Bagala announced at the meeting that he is taking an indefinite leave of absence.
“I love our people, I love our community, I love my fellow employees and I love public service. I will miss y’all, be it temporarily, and I will check in from time to time hopefully achieving the goal and the path that I’m currently on,” Bagala said.
Bagala is currently campaigning for the District 54 seat in the state House of Representatives. After the meeting, Bagala said he wanted to take time off work to focus on his campaign and to avoid any potential conflicts of interest.
Because of the upcoming budget process, Bagala said he will work about five hours a week to help the council.
-- Daily Comet Staff Writer Julia Arenstam can be reached at 448-7636 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @JuliaArenstam.
Posted on Fri, June 14, 2019
by By Julia Arenstam Daily Comet Staff Writer