Juvenile Center Controversy
The Oklahoma attorney general's office today concluded the state properly awarded a multimillion contract to a group tied to a senator and lobbyist who had an extramarital affair.
Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs leaders dined at a private club with a group vying for a multimillion-dollar state contract while officials worked to change state law so the group could do business here.
Related Articles from NewsOK, The Oklahoman, and The Tulsa World
Source Documents and Related Links
- Letter of Investigation (Rader Center)
- DOJ Official Complaint (Rader Center)
- Consent Decree (Rader Center)
- SB1486 (Calls for proposals for new facility)
- OJA juvenile center solicitation
- Sen. Coates itemized campaign expenses (4/10 to 7/10)
- Blog: The Harry Coates affair - reporting the right way
• 2006: U.S. Department of Justice files a lawsuit against the state Office of Juvenile Affairs alleging civil rights of juvenile inmates at L.E. Rader Center in Sand Springs were being violated because of deplorable conditions and poor management.
• 2008: The Office of Juvenile Affairs
settles lawsuit by agreeing to implement several changes at Rader — the state's only maximum-security juvenile detention center.
• Fall 2009: The Office of Juvenile Affairs board begins seeking proposals for a new juvenile center.
• Winter 2009: Office of Juvenile Affairs Director Gene Christian says Rader may have to shut down because of budget cuts.
• January 2010: Christian tours a Rite of Passage academy in Colorado.
• Winter 2010: Legislators begin considering asking the Office of Juvenile Affairs to build a new juvenile detention center.
• Spring 2010: Sen. Harry Coates, lobbyist Haley Atwood, Office of Juvenile Affairs board members and some legislators tour a Rite of Passage juvenile offender academy in Colorado..
• Spring 2010: Atwood corresponds frequently with Office of Juvenile Affairs officials about Rite of Passage.
• April 15, 2010: Christian and his chief of staff eat dinner at a private club in downtown Oklahoma City with officials from Rite of Passage and Ada.
• April 16, 2010: Officials from Ada and Rite of Passage, along with other bidders, make their juvenile center proposals to Office of Juvenile Affairs board of directors.
• May 27, 2010: Legislature passes bills requiring the Office of Juvenile Affairs to seek requests for proposals for a new juvenile center.
• May 28, 2010: Gov. Brad Henry signs bill requesting proposals for new juvenile center; Christian and Coates meet in Coates' office.
• June 4-7: Christian tours Rite of Passage academy in Colorado.
• June 3, 2010: Henry signs bill allowing Office of Juvenile affairs to send juvenile inmates to charter schools.
• June 4-7, 2010: Christian tours Rite of Passage academy in Colorado.
• June 7, 2010: The Office of Juvenile Affairs issues request for proposals for new juvenile center.
• Aug. 1, 2010: The Department of Central Services begins evaluating five proposals for a new juvenile center.
• Aug. 16, 2010: Contract award decision expected but is not made.
• Sept. 17, 2010: Vendors that submitted proposals for new juvenile center tell the Office of Juvenile Affairs board members they are frustrated no decision has been made.
• Nov. 23, 2010: Christian announces intent to award contract for new juvenile center to Ada Youth Academy Authority, which had retained Rite of Passage to operate the center; contract also calls for expansion of an existing juvenile center in Tecumseh to make it suitable for maximum-security juvenile inmates.
• Dec. 1, 2010: The Oklahoman reveals Coates and Atwood were having an extramarital affair while helping steer the $10 million-a-year juvenile center contract to the Ada group and Rite of Passage; failed bidders allege the bidding was rigged to favor the Ada group and Rite of Passage.
• Dec. 3, 2010: Juvenile center contract signing called off amid a Senate investigation into the bidding process.
• Dec. 6, 2010: Attorney general's office begins reviewing bidding process.