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Old 09-30-2009, 10:49 AM
sfc_darrel sfc_darrel is offline
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Exclamation What’s happening in Hardin, Montana?

What’s happening in Hardin, Montana?
By Michelle Malkin • September 30, 2009 12:04 PM

Tons of readers are asking about the American Police Force jail contract in Hardin, Montana.

Neil Katz at CBS News reported:

This is the strange story of how American Police Force, a little known company which claims to specialize in training military and security forces overseas, has seemingly taken control of a $27 million, never-used jail, and a rural Montana town’s nonexistent police force.

After arriving in this tiny city with three Mercedes SUVs marked with the logo of a police department that has never existed, representatives of the obscure California security company said preparations were under way to take over Hardin’s jail, which has no prisoners.

Significant obstacles remain – including a lack of any contracts to acquire prisoners from other jails or other states.

And on Friday came the revelation the company’s operating agreement for the facility has yet to be validated – two weeks after city leaders first unveiled what they said was a signed agreement.

Still, some Hardin leaders said the deal to turn over the 464-bed jail remained on track.

The agreement with American Police Force has been heavily promoted by members of the city’s economic development branch, the Two Rivers Authority.

Authority Vice President Albert Peterson on Friday repeated his claim to be “100 percent” confident in the company.

The lead public figure for American Police Force, Michael Hilton, said more than 200 employees would be sought for the jail and a proposed military and law enforcement training center.

The secrecy has led to speculation that the deal is tied to President Obama’s search for Gitmo detainee housing alternatives in the U.S. Hardin jail officials expressed interest in accepting released Gitmo enemy combatants last spring.

There’s not enough info to determine what exactly is going on — so Montana legislators are doing their jobs and trying to get to the bottom of it:

Montana Rep. Bob Ebinger said more rumors were likely until Hardin and the company provide more details.

“Always when things are secretive, you end up getting everybody—on both the right and the left—making suppositions about what’s going on,” said Ebinger, a Democrat from Livingston.

Ebinger and other members of the Legislature’s Law and Justice Committee said they would ask Hardin officials to provide more information about the company.

In addition to taking over the 464-bed, $27 million jail, the company has said it will sink $17 million into a military training center and is seeking 5,000 acres or more for a live-fire training ground.

Company spokeswoman Becky Shay said there were no plans to reveal the project’s financial backers.

They are not going to be able to sustain that position for long.
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:35 PM
sfc_darrel sfc_darrel is offline
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Exclamation Montana city's jail deal delayed amid controversy

Montana city's jail deal delayed amid controversy
By MATTHEW BROWN (AP) – 11 hours ago

HARDIN, Mont. — Officials in this remote Montana town have placed plans for a California company to take over a never-used, $27 million jail on hold.

The Hardin economic development authority's decision to step back from an agreement with the newly minted American Police Force, of Santa Ana, Calif., came as town leaders on Monday announced the resignation of both the attorney and the economic development official who helped craft the jail deal for the city.

The decision also follows revelations that Mike Hilton, the lead figure of the American Police Force, has a history of fraud that includes several years in jail and three civil judgments against him for more than $1.1 million.

"We won't move forward. I don't think any of us want to be on the chopping block," said Gary Arneson, president of Hardin's Two Rivers Authority, which owns the jail.

Montana's Attorney General launched an investigation into the company last week, demanding that the city turn over any documents it has related to the jail deal.

On Friday, a California judge ordered Hilton to appear in court Oct. 27 over an outstanding judgment in a fraud lawsuit.

In that case, Hilton lured investors to sink money into an assisted living complex in Southern California that was never built.

An attorney for the plaintiffs, Cris Armenta, said the $340,000 judgment awarded in 2000 has grown to about $700,000 with interest factored in. Armenta said she planned go after any and all of Hilton's assets, including his wages, property and three Mercedes SUVs that Hilton had once offered to donate to Hardin.

Over the summer, several Hardin officials flew to California and met with Hilton, and they were told a major security corporation that wished to remain anonymous was backing the deal.

An agreement with Hilton was approved by the city's Two River's Authority in early September. But a more detailed contract with the company was never ratified by a bank serving as trustee on $27 million in bond that have gone into default.

Arneson said no further action would be taken until the authority hires an attorney to replace Becky Convery, the lawyer who helped forge the agreement with American Police Force.

At a board member meeting Monday, Arneson said a background check on Hilton had been carried out by the agency's executive director, Greg Smith. Smith was put on paid leave and resigned late Monday.

Meanwhile, the man whose name was offered up as the jail's future operations director said he was never offered the job — and would not have taken it regardless.

Hardin officials said they were told by Hilton that he was hiring Michael Cohen, an executive with International Security Associates in Dublin, Ohio, for the post.

"Excuse my French, but he's talking with forked tongue there," Cohen said Monday, adding that he had only cursory discussions with Hilton and was led to believe the post involved military and law enforcement training.

"He kept saying, come to Montana, come to California and meet me. He wouldn't give me any information" about the job, Cohen said.

Hilton's office referred questions to Becky Shay, the company spokeswoman, who said she continues to operate under the assumption that the jail project is moving forward.
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Old 10-07-2009, 07:51 AM
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reconeil reconeil is offline
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WOW!!!, Matt & Michelle,...and So Much for: "Transparency"!!!
Hell, both Islamic Terrorists & Queen Pelosi & even: "Czars" are actually more transparent
about their plans, attacks, wishes & desires,... than: "His Barackness" or Ruler Obama.
Why is that?

My Salute & "GarryOwen" to all TRUE Patriots.
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