Hardin, MT, stands outside an empty jail the city built for $27 million, on Friday,
September 24, 2009. The authority wants a California security company,
American Police Force, to take over the facility. (AP Photo)
by JENNIFER McKEE Gazette State Bureau | Posted: Thursday, October 1, 2009 5:40 pm
HELENA - Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock launched an investigation Thursday into American Police Force, the California company founded by a Serbian immigrant with a lengthy criminal history that is seeking to run an empty, 464-bed jail in Hardin.
Bullock sent a nine-page demand letter late Thursday afternoon to Becky Shay, the spokeswoman for APF and the company's only Montana employee.
Shay did not immediately respond to phone calls Thursday.
According to the document, Bullock is launching the civil investigation into APF over concerns that the company might be violating the Montana Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act.
Among other things, Bullock demanded that the company provide proof for many statements about the company included on APF's Web site. The site says that the company frequently has contracts with the U.S. government and has operations in all 50 states.