The company that was renewed for a $4.75 million, two-year contract at the county jail after making more than $9,000 in campaign contributions to Sheriff Mike Chapman is involved in a federal investigation.
The public corruption case involves a former sheriff in Norfolk.
The Virginian-Pilot reported that Correct Care Solution of Nashville, TN, and people associated with it contributed $36,500 to former Norfolk sheriff Bob McCabe since 2011. A former city buyer told The Virginian-Pilot that federal agents interviewed him about whether the competitive process for city contracts was manipulated to steer them toward certain vendors.
When a Correct Care bid to provide medical services in the Norfolk City Jail came in around $200,000 higher than a competitor, according to the Virginian-Pilot’s sources, McCabe privately suggested contacting Correct Care to alert them to the price difference. In that meeting, McCabe was advised that would illegal, and he dropped the issue, but Correct Care later revised its bid to undercut its competitor.
A spokesman for Correct Care said the company received a subpoena for documents from federal investigators, and is cooperating.
In Loudoun, Correct Care’s bid came in nearly $600,000 above the lowest bidder and was the second-most expensive bid of the four the county received. However, the county does not award those contracts solely based on least cost.
Sheriff’s Office Major Michael Manning told the Board of Supervisors’ finance committee in June that Correct Care Solutions “came with a very detailed and demonstrated knowledge of what we were asking for.”
“They’ve shown us that in the past,” Manning said. “We’ve had a relationship with this company for over 11 years. They came to the table and they gave us everything we asked for in a very detailed manner.”
Campaign finance reports filed with the county in 2015 show $6,380 in contributions from Correct Care Solutions to Chapman’s campaign. That put them second only to Falcon Heating & AC, which gave $10,275. Falcon president and owner Bruce Rahmani gave Chapman’s campaign a further $9,275. In his finance report for those contributions, Chapman listed Rahmani in his role with Rahmani’s company Tabb Realty LLC in Sterling, which according to the State Corporation Commission shares a street address with Falcon.
Campaign finance reports filed with the state show another $3,000 in 2016. Correct Care Solutions was again the second-largest contributor to Chapman’s 2016 electoral campaign, second only to Falcon Heating and AC at $4,000.
Representatives for both the sheriff’s office and the county government have said the sheriff did not participate in the procurement process.
Chapman denied having any contact with Correct Care Solutions employees outside of his annual fundraising golf tournament. Correct Care Solutions is one of the sponsors of that golf tournament, and Chapman said some of the company’s employees participated in the tournament.
“I don’t have any contact with them outside of that yearly sponsorship, with the exception of, I may see members of CCS at like a Virginia sheriffs conference or national sheriffs conference,” Chapman said. He said they are among the many vendors that attend those conferences.
According to Purchasing Agent Cheryl Middleton of the county Division of Procurement, there were five people on the committee that selected Correct Care Solutions’ bid, three of them sheriff’s office employees. The other two represented the county Department of Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Developmental Services; and the county Department of Finance and Procurement.
“Including subject matter experts is necessary to ensure the PAG selects a firm that best meets the needs,” Middleton said by email. “Additionally, there is always someone from Procurement who facilitates the process and ensures the integrity of the process has been upheld.”
She said all members of the panel must sign a form certifying that they have no preconceived notions or personal interest in the outcome of the evaluation and no bias for or against any firms in the process.
“Our expectation is that by signing this document, members of the PAG commit to evaluating proposals in an unbiased manner using the stated criteria,” Middleton said.
Chapman denied having any conversations with any of the members of the evaluation committee about the medical and psychiatric services contract.
“CCS’s participation in the RFP process has no connection to our support of the Sheriff, and we firmly believe we were selected as the healthcare provider based on our record of providing high quality healthcare across the country,” said Correct Care Solutions spokesman Jim Cheney. “We value our working relationship with Loudoun County, and are committed to providing compassionate healthcare for our patients every day.”
Article updated at Thursday, August 17 at 11:35 a.m.