KINCHELOE, Mich. (WWJ/AP) – State police say a prison food service worker in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is suspected of approaching an inmate about arranging to have another inmate killed.

Detective Sgt. Michael Schroeder told the Detroit Free Press a Kinross Correctional Facility inmate complained in July that a worker for Aramark Correctional Services approached him about arranging to kill an inmate held at another facility.

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Schroeder said police have sent a warrant request to the Chippewa County prosecutor’s office following an investigation into the allegation. The worker has also been banned from prison property, he said, but not arrested.

Corrections Department spokesman Russ Marlan confirmed that an Aramark employee was banned from Kinross for “alleged criminal behavior.” Aramark spokeswoman Karen Cutler said she wouldn’t comment on an active police investigation.

“This is bizarre,” Mel Grieshaber, executive director of the Michigan Corrections Organization union that represents prison employees, said of the allegation at Kinross Correctional Facility.

Aramark’ work has been under scrutiny since the Philadelphia-based company began a $145-million contract with Michigan in last December. At least three dozen Aramark employees have been banned from prisons for violations.

Last month, the state levied a $200,000 fine against Aramark for unapproved menu substitutions, inadequate staffing and employee misconduct. It was the second fine imposed on the company since it took over food service in state prisons last year. Ohio also has fined Aramark for similar contract violations.

Michigan’s contract with Aramark runs through Sept. 30, 2016. Democrats and a liberal advocacy group had called on Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, to cancel the deal, saying problems were inevitable because of high turnover and lower pay for private workers who replaced roughly 370 state employees who lost their jobs in the outsourcing.

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The governor has defended the decision to stick with the food vendor, saying last month the state was on pace to save $14 million a year through privatization. He also absolved Aramark of responsibility for suspected food poisoning and maggot problems.

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Michigan Fines Prison Food Vendor $200K After ‘Unacceptable’ Errors, Sex Misconduct

Another Case Of Maggots In Food At Michigan Prison

Michigan Prison Workers Fired For Sexual Contact With Inmates

Union Says Prison Security Weakened By Private Food Contractor

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