Skip navigation

PLN mentioned in article re US Marshals Director Stacia Hylton

SpyTalk, Jan. 1, 2011.
PLN mentioned in article re US Marshals Director Stacia Hylton - SpyTalk 2011


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Holder honors revolving-door woman at Justice Department

Attorney General Eric Holder marked Women's History Month on Wednesday by singling out several female Justice Department officials for praise, including Stacia Hylton, head of the U.S. Marshals Service.

"As a seasoned veteran of the U.S. Marshals Service, Stacia Hylton’s longtime commitment to its mission of justice, integrity, and service -- and to her colleagues across the law enforcement community -- has always been front and center," Holder said.

What Holder failed to mention is that Hylton epitomizes another feminist breakthrough in Washington: women spinning through the revolving door of government and industry as easily as men.

As Paul Wright, director of the Human Rights Defense Center, pointed out last year, after first retiring in 2010 Hylton went to work as a consultant for GEO Group, a huge for-profit prison company that had been awarded "a number of lucrative contracts" during her six-year tenure as the Justice Department's Federal Detention Trustee.

"These included a sole-source ten-year contract at GEO’s Western Region Detention Facility in San Diego, generating approximately $34 million in annual revenue; a 20-year contract to operate the 1,500-bed Rio Grande Detention Center in Laredo, Texas with an estimated $34 million in annual revenue; and a 20-year sole-source contract to manage the Robert A. Deyton Detention Facility in Lovejoy, Georgia, generating $16-20 million in annual revenue," Wright wrote for the Counterpunch Web site. Wright, and Washington Times reporter Jim McElhatton, also questioned the timing of Hylton's consulting gig with GEO.

"According to the Virginia State Corporation Commission, Hylton’s consulting company was formed on January 13, 2010 – more than a month before she retired from her position as the Federal Detention Trustee," Wright wrote. "However, in her questionnaire submitted to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, she stated she began working for her consulting company in March 2010, the month after her retirement."

In 2007, according to Wright, Hylton had also "objected" to the DoJ Inspector General's "recommendation that the Office of the Federal Detention Trustee 'limit[] the amount of profit a state or local jail can earn for housing federal prisoners.'"

"While Ms. Hylton is not a registered lobbyist," McElhatton reported, "the publicly traded GEO Group, which did not respond to messages seeking comment, has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying Congress and the Justice Department on prison and budget issues in recent years."

None of this apparently bothered the Senate Judiciary Committee, which fast-tracked her nomination to a successful completion.

So much for transparency.

"For President Obama," Holder said of Hylton at Wednesday's ceremony, "she was a natural choice to be named Director of the Marshals Service last year -- and to become the first woman ever to occupy that post."