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Hearing set by Judge about funding Prison Medical Care

October 9, 2008


Sacramento, CA - A federal judge gave state officials about three weeks to clarify how they will hand over the amount of $250 million to the overseer of medical care in state prisons last Wednesday.

According to the order of U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and California Controller John Chiang was held in contempt by the court for declining to transfer an amount of $8 billion for new medical facilities of prison sought after by the overseer, J. Clark Kelso.

Henderson appointed Kelso as a part of a court case to administer prison healthcare that was so inadequate that the inmates were dying because of the insufficient treatment and medical mistakes.

Kelso asked Henderson beforehand to hold the two officials in contempt for disregarding a previous court order to fund the construction program he planned.

As contended by the state, the order did not require it to pay and that it is not allowed by the federal and state law from doing so.

Henderson said that he would first carry out a trial in San Francisco on October 27 instead of ruling on the issue of contempt to speed up the transfer of an initial amount of $250 million that according to Kelso, is already available from a separate plan of prison-building that was approved by state lawmakers last year.

According to Lisa Page, the governor's spokeswoman, the state would be ready at the hearing to deal with the issue.

Kelso's attorney was also granted by the judge to overthrow Michael Genest, the finance director of Gov. Schwarzenegger and two of his assistants.


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