Willacy County suing detention center construction company

Willacy County is suing the construction company that built the federal detention center.

Texas Marshal's Department and the Willacy County jail are citing a "sham of a construction project." Now, county officials are demanding they get what they paid for.

Willacy county spent some $65 million dollars to build the detention center and other buildings in hopes of generating high-paying jobs and fees from the federal government. County leaders now say the debt for the project may outlive the buildings.

County leaders filed a lawsuit against Hale-Mills Construction back on March 7th. According to the suit, the $65 million in taxpayer's money was supposed to pay for state-of-the art facilities that would be profitable for the county.

But instead there are "systemic" problems with the buildings that would require them to be partially or completely rebuilt to meet standard codes. An attorney representing Willacy County sent us photos, and he says the substandard job Hale-Mills did is unacceptable.

We reached out to the construction company, but we have not received a reply yet. Both sides of the lawsuit are expected to enter into mediation to resolve this issue without having to go to court.