Has the BOP Forgotten Jamie Olis?

Earlier this week, Michael Kopper, one of the few true crooks in the Enron affair, traipsed off to a federal prison in west Texas to begin serving the 37 month sentence that he received in return for his testimony that helped place four ex-Merrill Lynch executives in prison for a year in connection with the sordid Nigerian Barge case.

Meanwhile, former Dynegy executive Jamie Olis — whose only “crime” may have been some faulty judgment in doing what his bosses told him to do in attempting to bolster Dynegy’s finances — continues to sit in a dank, cramped jail cell in downtown Houston’s Federal Detention Center awaiting reassignment to a federal prison.

It’s now been over four months since Olis had his absurd original 24-year sentence reduced to a still egregious six years, which is the same length of sentence that Kopper’s boss, Andrew Fastow, is serving.

Olis has now been in the Federal Detention Center — essentially a holding tank for federal prisoners — for going on 14 months since the Fifth Circuit tossed out his 24-year sentence. Olis has now served over 40% of the time that he has been in prison in a jail facility not meant or equipped to hold prisoners serving lengthy sentences.

The Chronicle’s Tom Fowler follows up with this story about Olis’ ordeal, in which a governmental official observes that Olis’ reassignment has been “slowed because of the holidays and the recent spate of bad weather.”

Uh, Olis was re-sentenced over two months before the holidays. And I don’t recall the weather being all that bad over that period.

It’s understandable if Olis and his family are reluctant to request that the federal court examine what on earth is going on at the Bureau of Prisons that it can’t manage to assign Olis to an appropriate federal prison. Hell, the way this ordeal is going, the BOP in response to such a request might just throw away the keys to Olis’ cramped cell.

But the delay in reassigning Olis has now moved well beyond the realm of reason and is beginning to resemble the brutal nature of his original sentence.

Is the BOP simply impervious to such matters?

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