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Schuylkill County News

RIGHT TO KNOW: Canary Files RTK Request on Pre-release Prison Contractor Records

Since 2008, what has Crabtree Rohrbaugh & Associates done for Schuylkill County and how much has it cost?

Last week, Coal Region Canary filed a formal Right to Know request with Schuylkill County government seeking records dating back to 2008 on a firm contracted to do preliminary work on a proposed pre-release prison.

We recently reported on a proposed contract extension with Crabtree Rohrbaugh & Associates. This firm is supposed to be conducting a site option analysis plan for a proposed pre-release prison for Schuylkill County.

We learned that this firm has been working with the County government – in an on-and-off manner – since at least 2008. And to date, there’s no prison, no firm plans for a prison, and no concrete plans that have ever been made public about a potential facility.

And in that time, the cost of a proposed pre-release prison has only grown exponentially, with Commissioners Chairman Larry Padora suggesting to us last week that a facility, if it were built today, cost cost $26 million just in bricks and mortar.

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Now, the County has been utilizing this firm – again, not consecutively – for at least 16 years. But nothing has been made public regarding the results of its findings. So, we want to know what, exactly, Crabtree Rohrbaugh & Associates has produced for us and what it has cost us for their services in that time.

The Right to Know request filed with the Schuylkill County Solicitor on May 2 seeks the following information:

  • All invoices sent from Crabtree Rohrbaugh & Associates, of Mechanicsburg, to Schuylkill County, dating back to January 2008, as they relate to the proposed Intermediate Punishment Center.
    • + All proofs of payment of those invoices from Schuylkill County to Crabtree Rohrbaugh & Associates.
  • Full text of all written and approved contracts between Schuylkill County and Crabtree Rohrbaugh & Associates since 2008.
    • + Full text of any and all reports meant to fulfill these contracts filed by Crabtree Rohrbaugh & Associates with Schuylkill County.
  • Any emails, letters, memos, or other communications between Crabtree Rohrbaugh & Associates and Schuylkill County officials regarding the proposed Intermediate Punishment Center.
  • Record of any amendments or extensions to the original contracts with Crabtree Rohrbaugh & Associates dating back to 2008, if applicable.

The County has 5 business days from the receipt of our RTK request to respond it writing to it. It can either grant the request, deny it, or invoke its right to a 30-calendar day extension respond.

We fully expect, based on the complexity of our request, that the County will invoke that right to a 30-day extension to respond.

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  1. Melinda

    May 7, 2024 at 9:09 am

    Keep us posted! It shouldn’t take 30 days to answer certain elements of your request- the actual contract(s), any amendments, paid invoices should be readily available from Controller Yackenchick. There should be a file in the Commissioners Office area regarding the Intermediate Punishment Center or Pre-Release Center with reports and some communications. Perhaps Gary Bender and/or Paul Buber can provide. The emails may take some time, but that shouldn’t delay your entire RTK. Good Luck!

  2. lorraine koury

    May 7, 2024 at 12:13 pm

    give em hell! we really need investigative reporting on all levels of government and i’m glad we have you shining lights.

  3. PTFloridian

    May 14, 2024 at 7:17 am

    Sounds like a classic case of palm greasing, from way back… someone might know someone…stay on it Canary, you’re the best.

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