Vt. prisoner wins court case over high phone charges

MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) A Vermont prisoner has won a partial victory before the Vermont Supreme Court over the state's failure to seek competitive bids for inmate telephone services.

Kirk Wool sued the Department two years ago arguing that the "soul source" bid resulted in a phone company that allegedly charged inmates upwards of $8 dollars per hour to make a phone call, while competing company's offered rates closer to $3 per hour. He said the state violated laws that require the DOC to seek the lowest reasonable cost to inmates.

In Friday's ruling the justices affirmed the lower court ruling that Wool could not seek monetary damages against the DOC. But the justices also said Wool has the right to pursue his claim that the DOC violated state bidding rules.