The Federal Bureau of Prisons is moving forward with plans to build a prison in Kentucky, commissioning an environmental impact study on two potential sites in the southeastern part of the state.
U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers says both locations are in Letcher County. The plan to build a federal prison in Kentucky has been in the works since 2006, when Rogers secured $5 million in Congress to begin the planning process.
The report calls out Rogers for directing millions of dollars in earmarks to a Kentucky-based company that has contributed to his campaign. Phoenix Products Co. located in Maceo, Ky., has been paid $6.5 million by the U.S. Army for hundreds of leak-proof drip pans for military helicopters.
Earlier this year, The New York Times reported that Phoenix Products was paid $17,000 per drip pan, but that competitor businesses said similar products cost only $2,500.
Melanie Sloan is executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. She says Rogers is a frequent offender, and constituents concerned about fiscal responsibility should be alarmed.
"While these may be made in Kentucky this is hurting America. We have a huge deficit. We can’t afford all of our bills. And here it is we’re paying over $14,500 extra for each drip pan. And that’s taxpayer money. So we should all be concerned,” she says.