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Allen acknowledged that Wexford's bid was about million lower than CMS.
"We evaluated the contracts very carefully," said Allen.
"I have a keen interest in (prisons), particularly the health care," Griffith told the committee.
"We're rapidly moving into the baby boomers going through the prison system just like we're going through it outside the prison system." Griffith said health care for convicts is a "major, major cost factor" for the state, but he added that "we're capping it with this contract and I think it's well thought out." The committee has the power to delay the contract for 45 days but cannot stop it from being enacted.
Allen said none had worked for the company in at least six years. There was no politics involved in this selection," Allen said.
Some members of the Joint Legislative Contract Review Committee questioned Allen about members of his staff who formerly worked for the two private companies and were involved in the selection process for CMS.
A third company that submitted a proposal, Pittsburgh-based Wexford Health Sources, was represented by an attorney who said he will ask for an explanation of the grading process when the committee meets again today.
This is the second time in about 18 months that a private prison contractor has improperly injected inmates at Buckeye.
A nurse for Wexford Health Sources Inc., the prior health care provider, caused a hepatitis C scare in August 2012 by contaminating the prison's insulin supply.