Tuesday, December 4, 2012

U.S. Marshall Hired by CCA Accused of Ethics Violation

This story made me think of the former ICE supervisor from the Stewart Detention Center (SDC) that "The 270 View" previously reported on  who was allegedly hired by former SDC Warden Vance Laughlin to work for CCA in Natchez, MS.
Keep in mind that all opinions expressed here are just that. Please cross check anything you read before forming your own opinion.
Marshal accused of ethics violation

Agent sought a job at contractor he oversaw

Originally found here.

by JJ Hensley - Dec. 2, 2012 10:44 PM
The Republic | azcentral.com

A U.S. Marshals agent who was responsible for coordinating a $124 million annual contract with Corrections Corporation of America in Florence is facing criminal charges in federal court over an attempt to secure a job with the private-prison operator.

Thomas B. Bullen, 58, is on unpaid leave from the Marshals Service pending the outcome of the agency's administrative investigation into his conduct, said David Gonzales, U.S. marshal for Arizona.

Bullen referred a request for comment to his attorney, who did not return repeated messages. Bullen pleaded not guilty to the allegations at a hearing in October and is due to go to trial in the spring.

Bullen served as chief administrative officer for the Marshals Service from 2006 until early 2011, according to court documents, when he was demoted and assigned to oversee the agency's contract with the CCA, whose Florence facility holds defendants in federal cases awaiting trial

"What I do now is oversee a $4 billion, 20-year contract with (the CCA). ... I go throughout the facility and compare the contract with what they are doing," Bullen wrote of his job, a description included in court documents.

"I make surprise inspections at all times of the day or night; and file reports with the Arizona U.S. Marshals Service and also confer with the Office of Federal Detention Trustee in Washington, D.C."

One of Bullen's primary contacts was a woman referred to in court documents as "M.C."

About nine months into his new job, Bullen learned that M.C., who worked as the health-services administrator at the CCA, was going to retire, prompting Bullen to approach her about applying for the job.

Bullen applied for the job in October 2011, interviewed in November and was offered the job later that month.

The day he received the job offer, Bullen notified his supervisor that he was going to take a position with the CCA.

"This e-mail was the first time that anybody at the USMS had received notice of Bullen's possible departure," according to court documents.

The indictment notes that Bullen received ethics training, which included instructions barring federal employees from seeking employment that conflicts with their official duties, including a session the month before he started seeking the position with the CCA and another in 2008.

"During that training, Bullen was specifically instructed that 'if an employee who participates personally and substantially in a federal procurement exceeding $100,000 is contacted by a vendor/bidder with an offer for employment,' the employee must 'refuse the offer and report the contact in writing to a supervisor,' " according to court documents.

Federal prosecutions for conflict of interest are relatively rare, averaging about 13 cases in each of the last five years, according to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics.

None has originated in Arizona.

The most frequent prosecutions were for employees charged with violating the same section of the U.S. Criminal Code that Bullen is accused of violating, and they are typically resolved with guilty pleas, probation and fines.

Prison time is rare but is exercised in some cases.

In 2009, a Georgia woman was sentenced to three years in prison following a three-day trial in which prosecutors proved she was using her position with the Department of Veterans Affairs to place mentally ill veterans in an assisted-living facility in which she had a financial interest.