When California corrections officials found what they described as alarming defects in half of the GPS monitors worn by sex offenders and other parolees statewide, they moved immediately to break the contract with the company that supplied them.
A Sacramento judge said their concerns justified refusing to give the company more work, but he also ruled the state should not have given its existing work to a firm without competitive bidding.
Judge Timothy Frawley's decision upheld California's decision to reject the low bid from a division of 3M Co. for a statewide parole monitoring contract worth $51 million. But Frawley said GPS program director Denise Milano failed to show 3M's equipment already in use created a public emergency.
Heavily censored court records show Milano in April 2012 claimed failures in 3M's electronic monitoring equipment created a "public safety emergency." She said that justified amending the state contract with another vendor, Houston-based STOP, to supply ankle bracelets and monitoring systems for all of California, instead of just the state's six most-southern counties.