Oversight Chief: New Prison Issues "Insane"

Mar 17, 2015

More than a thousand documents about the delayed opening of the new Fort Madison prison have arrived at the Capitol at the request of the House Oversight Committee .   The committee chairman says the documents reveal construction issues that prison officials have not previously discussed.   

The documents from the Department of Administrative Services include contracts and bills covering the months of construction.    Oversight Chief Republican Bobby Kaufmann is asking his nine-member committee for help sifting through the information.

“The DAS has given us a significant amount of documents,” Kaufmann says.   “Those all should be in your inbox.”   

The Corrections Department confirms that earlier this year they shut off water to pipes so they wouldn’t freeze.   Kauffman says the documents show the pipes were closed off because of fears the roof would leak, which he calls a new issue.  

Kauffman says he doesn’t want to interfere with a potential lawsuit over the delays.

“But there’s no reason that we can not find out new potential issues that are going to delay the opening of the prison,” Kaufmann says.

Officials earlier cited problems with geothermal and ventilation systems.     Cost overruns have reached at least 30 million dollars. 

 Kaufmann says he hopes to summarize the documents into a two page report within a week.