Florida Bulldogs by Dan Christensen
August 8, 2018
The Broward Sheriff’s Office has refused to make public a list of federal and state lawsuits filed against its newly hired jail healthcare provider, citing a state law that protects trade secrets.
Correct Care Solutions LLC submitted its lengthy litigation history while bidding this spring for the sheriff’s inmate health care services contract. Florida Bulldog filed a public records request seeking the list, but BSO withheld 27 related pages.
BSO did not explain why it considers a list of publicly filed lawsuits to be exempt from disclosure under Florida’s Public Records Law.
Correct Care won the bidding for Broward’s inmate healthcare services contract in June. The contract’s initial term is for three years, but can be extended for up to five years for a total cost in excess of $160 million.
BSO cited trade secrets again in declining to release other information submitted by Correct Care as part of its proposal, including company financial statements as well as a list of “any state, federal, professional board or grand jury investigations, debarments, or license suspensions or restrictions regarding you, your principals, or anyone working on your behalf within the past seven years.”
BSO required bidders to provide information about lawsuits and investigations to help it evaluate their competency and honesty. Financial statements can show a bidder’s stability. Bid proposals were ranked by an internal BSO committee, but it was Sheriff Scott Israel who ultimately chose Tennessee-based Correct Care to replace Miami’s Armor Correctional Health Services.