The former director of the New York State Dept. of Corrections prison food production operation is accused of steering contracts to two companies in return for favors and gifts, according to audit report released by state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and state inspector general Joseph Fisch. The report says Howard Dean, who had retired in 2008 after a long career with the Dept. of Corrections, "routinely traded favors and gifts with favored businesses that were rewarded with millions of dollars in state purchases" and also fostered a culture that led others in the department to accept such practices.
The companies Dean is accused of steering contracts to include Global Food industries, a South Carolina based firm that had been barred from New York State contracts due to alleged discrimination against New York-based businesses. The report was sent to the Oneida County District Attorney's office for possible criminal prosecution. Dean could also face ethics charges before the state Public Integrity Commission.