TOPEKA, Kan. — The Latest on issues involving the Kansas prison system (all times local):
A Kansas lawmaker is seeking a report from legislative auditors on recent inmate disturbances at the state’s maximum-security prison in El Dorado.
Democratic state Sen. Laura Kelly of Topeka said Monday she is concerned that the Department of Corrections is not being transparent enough.
The department has confirmed incidents involving inmates refusing to return to their cells on May 8, June 24 and June 29. But it has said they were less serious than some employees and their union described them.
Kelly said she wants auditors to investigate and report on what actually happened. Department spokesman Todd Fertig said it is being transparent.
The committee that directs the auditors’ work will consider Kelly’s request in October. If the review goes forward, a report would be ready early next year.
A legislative audit contradicts information the Kansas Department of Corrections gave lawmakers about the least expensive way to finance a new prison.
The audit released Monday said it would be cheaper for the state to issue bonds to finance the new prison in Lansing to replace the existing prison there. Parts of the prison date to the 1860s.
The department told legislators earlier this year that the cheapest option would be having the company building the prison lease it to the state for up to 40 years.
Lawmakers authorized both.
Auditors said using bonds could cost as little as $178 million over 20 years and a lease-purchase deal would cost $206 million.
Auditors said the department used inconsistent assumptions favoring a lease-purchase deal. The department said it welcomed the review.