Former Mississippi Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps, center, and his attorney John Colette, right, leave the federal courthouse after an arraignment hearing in Jackson Thursday. Epps, who resigned abruptly this week, has been charged with accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from a Rankin County businessman connected to several private prison companies. Thursday afternoon, Gov. Phil Bryant announced all contracts involving firms mentioned in the Epps indictment will be rebid. The Associated Press/Joe Ellis

Former Mississippi Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps, center, and his attorney John Colette, right, leave the federal courthouse after an arraignment hearing in Jackson Thursday. Epps, who resigned abruptly this week, has been charged with accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from a Rankin County businessman connected to several private prison companies. Thursday afternoon, Gov. Phil Bryant announced all contracts involving firms mentioned in the Epps indictment will be rebid.
The Associated Press/Joe Ellis

JACKSON, Mississippi (AP) — Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said Thursday afternoon the state will rebid contracts with all firms mentioned in an indictment of former Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps.

Spokesman Knox Graham said Thursday that Bryant instructed interim Corrections Commissioner Richard McCarty to stop negotiations with Utah-based Management and Training Corp. over renewing a $60-million-a-year contract to manage four private prisons with 4,000-plus inmates.

Two of MTC’s four prisons have been sued for inmate mistreatment.

Graham says Bryant was unaware of alleged misconduct when he reappointed Epps in 2012, though the FBI had been investigating Epps since 2010.

Bryant received a $1,000 campaign contribution from Brandon businessman Cecil McCrory, alleged to have provided more than $1 million in bribes to Epps. Graham says Bryant will donate the money to the Salvation Army.