Lawmakers Call For Tricor CEO To Step Down

Posted at 8:28 PM, Jan 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-07 21:55:16-05

The CEO for Tricor went before a Senate Subcommittee Thursday and faced harsh criticism of the company's financial practices.

Tricor helps rehabilitate prisoners once they are released from the Tennessee prison system. The company operates the state's Cook Chill facility in Nashville which produces meals for all of Tennessee's correctional facilities.

There was a question about the amount of money Tricor agreed to charge to prepare those meals. The $2.99 Tricor said it would charge the Tennessee Department of Correction was not enough to cover the actual cost of the meals. Tricor tried to get more money from the state, after the fact, but TDOC said it would not make up the shortage. That left Tricor with a $4 million operating deficit.

A audit conducted by the Comptroller of the Treasury found several instances of financial mismanagement at the company. 

Senators questioned Tricor's CEO about the mismanagement, and called into question her ability to run the organization.

"Unforntunately, the record of mismanagement of Tricor over the last few years has completely overshadowed the purpose of Tricor, and our focus now is on these colossal breakdown of controls that has resulted in monumental financial misstatement,," said State Senator Ken Yager.

Senator Bill Ketron also called into question Weiland's ability to manage Tricor, and right the wrongs found in the state audit. 

Weiland admitted there were issues that needed to be addressed, but defended her running of Tricor.

Sentator Ketron said after the meeting that Weiland should step down from her position.

"Yes I would, yes I would. I think that would probably be best for that agency at this point," Ketron said.

Weiland told reporters her record speaks for itself and she has no plans on resigning.

""I'm 36 public servant, my record is open to the public. I've been a very passionate public servant for the state of Tennessee," she said.

Ketron also said he would like to the governor to replace Tricor's Board of Directors.

TDOC is currently looking for new vendors to provide meals for its facilities. Administrators hope to have a company in place by the summer.