Report: Maryland AG hiring Alabama attorney getting millions in Alabama corrections contracts
Butler Snow attorney William Lunsford, who has gotten nearly $15 million in legal services contracts with the Alabama Department of Corrections, has been retained by the Maryland attorney general over issues in the Baltimore jail’s health system.
The Baltimore Banner reports Lunsford was retained amid accusations from the ACLU that the Maryland attorney general had been attacking a monitor of the system, installed in 2016 to ensure state compliance with a court order. State officials have told a judge they are years away from addressing ongoing problems in the system.
The Maryland attorney general’s office declined to tell the Banner how much Lunsford was being paid, deferring the question to a public records request.
The Legislature’s Contract Review Committee in July approved $14.9 million in legal service contracts for Lunsford, who is defending Alabama against a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice over physical and sexual violence in men’s prisons. Rep. Chris England, D-Tuscaloosa, said Lunsford was “basically a government agency at this point.”
Lunsford sat on an advisory board of YesCare, a Tennessee-based health care firm that won a $1 billion health care contract for Alabama prisons. DOC officials told members of the Contract Review Committee in February that Lunsford served on the board during the first round of bidding on the contract, but stepped down before a second round began. YesCare also provides health care services to Maryland prisons and the Baltimore jail, according to the Banner.