Jail Bid Controversy Goes to Court

It appears the courts will decide which company gets to build and manage Bay County’s new county jail.

Emerald Corporations, the company which lost to Corrections Corporation of America in bidding on the jail contract, is now suing the Bay County Commission.

The Louisiana based company wants an injunction from the courts stopping Bay County from awarding the jail contract to CCA.

The lawsuit claims the county violated the Florida Sunshine Law and its own bidding rules to award the job to CCA.

Emerald says CCA’s actual bid was more than $41 million, but the county’s staff analysis of the bid cut it to $36 million, roughly the same as Emerald’s proposal.

The lawsuit also charges CCA’s bid was not firm and therefore was not in compliance with bidding rules.

The company wants the courts to grant temporary and permanent injunctions barring the county from giving CCA the contract and recognize Emerald’s bid as the only legal one submitted.