Jack Harwell Detention Center | McLennan County Texas

McLennan County
Public Facilities Corporation

public facilities corporation McLennan County Tx 2015

Aside from not finding an image or location other than the courthouse for this business, the majority of the mention of the McLennan County Public Facilities Corporation is for the county agenda for the board to meet. In private. Again.

“The public facility corporation was formed in 2009 after a split commissioners court approved construction of an 816-bed private jail to resolve overcrowding at the neighboring county jail. Gibson and former Commissioner Joe Mashek voted against building the jail.

The board issued $49 million in project revenue bonds, which were secured with the county’s bond rating, to shield the county from the legal liability of repaying the debt.

The bonds instead are to be repaid through revenues from housing prisoners for various state and federal agencies, as well as McLennan County’s overflow inmates.

The commissioners court serves as the board’s directors, while County Clerk Andy Harwell (Jack Harwell is his father and former Sheriff) and County Treasurer Bill Helton were appointed as its original officers.” – from a Waco Tribune article describing Gibson’s resignation.

There was an excess of around 6 Million dollars within 3 years of the filling up the new jails in Waco according to a KWTX article:

McLennan County: New Vendor Takes Over Jail

“Because of inconsistent prisoner counts, the county began seeking new vendors to run the jail who would offer an “inmate threshold” to the county.

The county’s new three year contract with LaSalle Corrections includes a 325-inmate threshold.

Meaning, the county must provide an average of 325 overflow prisoners a day to the Jack Harwell Detention Center.

If the county fails to meet that threshold, it would have to dish out $45.50 for every bed short of that average.

The plus side to the contract is that every federal inmate LaSalle housed at the Jack Harwell Detention Center is included in the 325-inmate threshold.

For example, if the county has 300 overflow prisoners in the Jack Harwell Detention Center and LaSalle provides 25 federal inmates, the county meets the threshold and only pays for its 300 prisoners that day.

CEC would have provided a threshold if the county renewed its contract, but county commissioners felt LaSalle would do a better job of housing federal inmates at the facility.

Snell says no federal inmates are currently held in the jail.”

According to the McLennan County Financial Report for 2014 the formation of a McLennan County Public Facilities Corporation, which owns the Jack Harwell Jail(s) in Waco, was formed to shield the board members from liability.

Another former DPS officer and SWAT team leader for the F Company for the Texas Rangers is a man named Bob Prince, who also happens to sit on the board of LaSalle Southwest Corrections out of Louisiana/Dripping Springs Texas, who gained the contract for the Waco Jails in 2013.

Bob Prince – LaSalle Corrections Board Member

Bob Prince LaSalle Prison website 2015
Bob Prince LaSalle Prison website 2015

Bob Prince’s son Randall works for, none other than, the Texas Rangers as part of Director Steve McCraw’s three-pronged executive team, ran the Texas Rangers for four years prior to his promotion last September.

“AUSTIN — For years, private jails in Texas run by LaSalle Corrections have been plagued by complaints of lax training and abuse. In-jail deaths at their facilities across the state have resulted in multiple lawsuits for wrongful deaths and negligence.
So when the state passed a law in 2017 requiring Texas jails to have an outside law enforcement agency investigate such deaths, the Texas Rangers seemed a perfect fit. Nearly every jail in the state chose the Rangers, the state’s premier investigative agency, to oversee their investigations — including seven of eight LaSalle-run jails — overseen by the state.
Now, the Texas Jail Commission, which oversees 241 jails across the state, is reviewing its decision to appoint the Rangers as the investigating agency for eight LaSalle-run jails, including ones in Parker and Johnson counties.
The review comes after The Dallas Morning News informed the commission that LaSalle’s director of governmental affairs, Bob Prince, is a former Texas Ranger whose son, Randall Prince, now oversees the Rangers as a deputy director for the Department of Public Safety. The younger Prince, who is part of Director Steve McCraw’s three-pronged executive team, ran the Texas Rangers for four years prior to his promotion last September.”

Private jail firm employs former Texas Ranger. Will Rangers investiga…
archived 19 Jan 2019 15:16:25 UTC

Bonds were issued in 2009 for the project. It would be interesting to know if any of these people still owned any bonds when they retired.

The Issuer is a nonprofit public corporation and instrumentality of the County formed on behalf of the County pursuant to the Act and an Order Approving and Authorizing the Creation of the McLennan County Public Facility Corporation of the Commissioners Court of the County (the “Commissioners Court”) adopted on September 2, 2008.

The Issuer was formed for the purpose of financing for and on behalf of the County eligible jail and criminal detention facility projects and other public buildings and facilities for use by the County.

The Issuer currently has no unencumbered assets. Its rights under the Lease will be assigned, and its interest in the Project pledged, to the Trustee for the benefit of the owners of the Bonds. Pursuant to the bylaws of the Issuer, the Issuer is governed by a five-member board of directors, all of whom are appointed by the Commissioners Court of the County.

In addition, the Commissioners Court has the right at any time to dismiss any director, for cause, or at will, and to appoint a successor to take his or her place.
The directors serve without compensation for six-year terms.

The current directors and their occupations are as follows:
Director ————————————– Occupation

  • Jim Lewis ————————————– County Judge
    (retired in 2012 due to budget woes)
  • Wendall Crunk ————————————– “Farmer and Rancher” –
    Deceased in 2015
    Wendall was a District Deputy at the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office for many years. He also proudly served as McLennan County Commissioner, Precinct 1 from 1997, until 2008. Wendall farmed and ranched in the Asa area all his life, was owner and operator of Crunk Agri-Service, and was a Pioneer Seed Agency Representative for 47 years. Wendall was also a member of Waco Masonic Lodge #92.
  • Lester Gibson ————————————– Commissioner, Precinct 2
  • Joe A. Mashek  ————————————– Commissioner, Precinct 3
  • Ray Meadows ————————————– Commissioner, Precinct 4

The Issuer will enter into the Indenture, the Ground Lease, the Lease and the Deed of Trust, and will take and retain the leasehold interest in the Project, to facilitate the financing of the Project to be leased to the County.

The Issuer’s obligation with respect to the payment of debt service on the Series 2009 Bonds is a special, limited, non-recourse obligation payable solely from the Issuer Project Revenues, including the Rental Payments payable by the County pursuant to the Lease. The Issuer has no authority to levy taxes for the payment of debt service on the
Series 2009 Bonds. The Series 2009 Bonds do not constitute an obligation, either special, general or moral of the County, the State, or any other political subdivision thereof.