press release


News from Progress Michigan

January 30, 2015

Contact: Sam Inglot,

Questions Abound After Aramark Overseer Jumps Ship

Departure of controversial former prison chief adds to Aramark’s embattled legacy in Michigan

LANSING — The controversy surrounding the state’s prison food service contract with Aramark only worsens with the news that Ed Buss, the contract overseer, has jumped ship after only four months. Buss was brought in from Florida by Gov. Rick Snyder in an attempt to fix the litany of problems that have happened since he handed the reins over to Aramark.

“The fact that the Snyder administration is silent on the nature of Buss’ departure doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the state’s already embattled relationship with Aramark,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “This contract with Aramark has been riddled with problems from the start and from what we’ve seen, there’s been little improvement. Buss was supposed to be the administration’s cure-all to the litany of problems that have been associated with Aramark, so what is their answer now? But more importantly, why did he leave?”

Progress Michigan asks the following questions of the Snyder administration regarding Buss’ departure and the Aramark contract:

-Why did Buss leave?

-How much of his $160,000 salary will Buss take to Florida with him?

-How does the state plan to use the remainder of the $200,000 fine to hold Aramark accountable?

-Will the state bring in a new overseer? Why or why not?

-Can the state provide evidence of Buss’ supposed successes?

-Can the state provide detailed figures on how Aramark is saving the state money given the considerable amount of oversight the state has been forced to provide due to poor performance?

“Michiganders don’t want their tax dollars going to an out-of-state corporation that has — in a very short amount of time — accumulated an abysmal track record that is steeped in controversy,” Scott continued. “We will continue to investigate the situation and, once again, call on Gov. Snyder to do the right thing and cancel the contract.”


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