HELENA — A Republican lawmaker is questioning the state’s decision to lease a facility in Galena to house mentally ill inmates.
State Rep. Ron Ehli of Hamilton says there is a potential conflict of interest between the company that owns the former youth prison and the governor’s office.
The Independent Record reports Bullock budget director Dan Villa’s wife, Brandie Villa, is a top accountant for Butte-based Community Counseling and Correctional Services.
Montana officials signed a 19-year lease at the 38,000 square-foot facility to relieve overcrowding at the Montana State Hospital in Warm Springs.
There was no competitive bidding process and the terms of the lease are not subject to legislative review.
Villa said in a statement that no CCCS employee was involved in the decision to lease the facility.
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