07/09/18 11:00 AM EDT
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) reportedly profited from a for-profit health-care provider that has government contracts with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers.
Politico reported on Monday that Rauner disclosed his earnings from a private equity fund that owns Correct Care Solutions in his most recent statement of economic interests. The report notes that the health-care group has millions of dollars in contracts with jails, prisons and immigration detention centers, including ones that hold migrant families.
Rauner maintained that he has no direct ties to Correct Care Solutions and that he also gave up his investment decisions to a third party. But the disclosure indicates he’s receiving profits from the health-care provider, which has $1 billion in revenue annually, according to Politico.
Immigration rights groups say the financial represents a clear conflict of interest for the Illinois governor. Politico also notes that those same groups have pointed out that Correct Care Solutions has a range of lawsuits alleging negligence on the company’s part.
One group told Politico that Rauner should divest from any funds involving immigrant detention centers.
“He should not be in any way profiting off of this,” said Donald Cohen, executive director of In the Public Interest, a national watchdog group that monitors privatization and advocates for responsible government contracting. “It’s morally reprehensible.”
Cohen added that Rauner “is the leader of his entire state. He is participating in it. There’s no other way to say it: You’re making money from that? You are complicit, period. Complicit in the poor care that’s happening in prisons; complicit with what’s going on with immigration in our country.”
“He should not be investing in anything where he can as a policy maker have to make a decision related to those issues,” he said.
Politico notes that Rauner has estimated his net worth to be more than $500 million and that he did not put his portfolio into a blind trust before taking office in 2015. He instead authorized a New York investment adviser to make his decisions. His financial disclosure does not specify how much profit he received from Correct Care.
However, it does disclose that he’s earned more than $5,000 from GTCR’s Fund X, the private equity fund that owns the company.
“All of Governor Rauner’s assets are controlled by blind trust procedures and he is not involved in day-to-day investment decisions,” a spokesman for Rauner, Will Allison, told the news outlet. “Moreover, Governor Rauner has never had any direct involvement with Correct Care.”
The financial disclosure comes as many Democratic and Republican lawmakers scrutinize President Trump‘s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which resulted in thousands of families being separated at the border. In addition, it comes as many immigration rights groups assess how for-profit correctional companies care for their occupants.
Victoria Lopez with the ACLU’s National Prison Project told Politico that “the medical care system has certainly come under a good deal of scrutiny because there have been such tragic outcomes in some cases.”
Source: The Hill