City debars ‘sham minority’ prison health services subcontractor

prison bars jail
Credit: Jan Vargas/Flickr

In an unprecedented disciplinary move, the city of Philadelphia on Monday announced the debarment of prison health services subcontractor JHK Inc. and owner Jamie Kovacs for allegedly skirting city laws requiring a certain percentage of contracts go to female and minority-owned firms.

A lengthy investigation by the Office of the Inspector General found the Philadelphia Prison System’s prime health care contractor, Corizon Health Services Inc., made it appear that the female-owned JHK Inc. provided pharmaceutical supplies to prisons when in fact, Corizon only paid JHK to use its name and certification as a female-owned business.

The move comes as the first involuntary debarment in city history, according to a release from Mayor Michael Nutter’s office.

“This debarment sends a strong and definitive message: The city of Philadelphia will not tolerate businesses that circumvent the city’s antidiscrimination policies,” Inspector General Amy Kurland said in a statement.

First Deputy Director of Finance Catherine Paster stated in the debarment notice that JHK, Inc. provided no credible evidence to dispute the facts uncovered during the OIG investigation.

She further noted JHK admitted to the City Debarment Panel that it provided no services to the Prison System other than stamping the company name on city paperwork.

“Our administration will continue to seek qualified minority-, women- and disable-owned businesses to play a significant role in all of its contracts, but we will not stand for companies or individuals trying to cheat the system,” Nutter said in a statement.

Corizon Health Services in July 2012 agreed to settle with the city for $1.85 million in connection with the case and pledged to review all of its subcontracting agreements to ensure compliance with city antidiscrimination policies and to appoint a compliance team member to make sure minority requirements are fully understood by all Corizon personnel.


Hillary Clinton headed to Boston for women's leadership…

Former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to visit Massachusetts Wednesday amid continuing speculation about making another bid for the presidency in 2016.


Boston Marathon: Marathoners ready to run, honor victims

Scores of runners will cross the Boston Marathon starting line in Hopkinton Monday and embark on a 26.2-mile journey to Boston in honor of the victims.


MIT student, Rhodes scholar, dies

Eliana Hechter, a student at MIT and Harvard, died, her family said. The announcement was posted on MIT's website.


Video: Car crashes into Cambridge store, man arrested…

A Cambridge man was arrested on gun and drug charges after crashing his car into a Massachusetts Avenue storefront early Saturday morning.


‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."


'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…


Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…


MLB video highlights: Red Sox walk off with…

Red Sox pick up first walk off win of 2014


Red Sox and Orioles meet Monday morning at…

Red Sox and Orioles meet Monday morning at 11 a.m.


NHL video highlights: Bruins smack down Red Wings…

NHL video highlights: Bruins smack down Red Wings in Game 2


MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win


Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…


Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…


Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…


4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.