© 2020 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
San Antonio

Bexar County Jail Inmate Phone Contract At Center Of Dispute, 150 Local Jobs Involved

BexarCountyjail-2.jpg
Kathleen Creedon | Texas Public Radio
/

A local company that provides phone and video visitation services to the Bexar County Adult Detention Center claims it lost its bid to renew the county contract because of alleged lobbying by a competitor.

IC Solutions, located near San Antonio International Airport, said that Bexar County staff advised the commissioners to accept the company's bid.

But commissioners selected Dallas area-based Securus Technologies instead.

An attorney representing IC Solutions, David Prichard, appeared in Commissioners Court on July 13th to ask commissioners to allow it to enter into contract negotiations and prohibit Securus from consideration. He alleged Securus lobbied for the contract.

"There was intense and severe lobbying for this proposal. It's a big deal. It affects 150 people at a business in Commissioner DeBerry's precinct," Prichard said.

Prichard said the bidding process includes a very strong anti lobby provision, which commissioners could ignore or be scrupulous to what is written. He did not publicity disclose what allegedly happened, but said he had a witness deposition outlining details.

The county earned $2.3 million from the 2019-2020 contract. A statement from the county confirms it has received a letter from the law firm representing IC Solutions, but declined further comment.

In December of 2020, the Bexar County’s Commissioners Court awarded Securus Technologies the County’s Incarcerated Phone System contract.

A statement from Securus said since that time, IC Solutions has attempted to publicize unfounded allegations of impropriety in the procurement process in an attempt to reverse the Commissioners’ decision.

"ICS has suggested to the Commissioners and in the media that Securus somehow improperly 'lobbied' for the contract in violation of the RFP and, having done so, has threatened the integrity of the bidding process. This allegation is unsupported and utterly false," the statement read.

"All the evidence shows that the County’s award to Securus was proper, legal and made in accordance with rules pertaining to the (request for proposal) process," the statement also read.

Securus said it looks forward to moving ahead with the transition and working with Bexar County to better serve the community.

TPR was founded by and is supported by our community. If you value our commitment to the highest standards of responsible journalism and are able to do so, please consider making your gift of support today.