|Incoming Brevard Clerk of Courts Scott Ellis|
He will be sworn in on Tuesday at Noon at the Brevard County Government Complex in Titusville and will then visit all of the Clerk’s offices. Ellis defeated incumbent Mitch Needleman in a primary last summer.
“We will go back to making more information available online for free, saving both the public and the Clerk’s Office time and money,” Ellis added. “Turning off many of the contracts signed by the current regime will save well over $1 million annually.
“More regular workers will be added in place of the excess management and bogus contracts being paid. They will cost less than what is being subtracted, and we have to make it work as currently the office is being overspent through the long term contracts and the hiring of over 30 people after the election.
“I expect our overall staffing levels to be roughly the same. We may have a few more employees who do the work, but the few additional employees will be a saving over the excess management now leaving the building.“
One of those contracts – the contentious court records digitizing contract with BlueWare, Inc. – is a focal point of Ellis’ changes.
“The Clerk (outgoing clerk Needleman) unlawfully borrowed $6.1 million from Hewlett Packard and fronted Blueware $5.7 million for their five year contract. The $8.3 million for digitizing will be over, unfortunately with more than $1 million already gone down the drain,” Ellis said.
Ellis noted that many of the upper level management are resigning, but there are still salary issues to be considered.
“The new layer of management (that Needleman installed) has been leaving on their own, collecting $15,000 to $20,000 severance bonuses on the way out,” Ellis said. “The last round of pay raises must be rescinded and I believe a large amount of the first round will be removed as we prepare to re-badge the outsourced employees in the first month.”
Ellis added that he hopes to determine the fiscal outlook for the office within his first week.
“The management and structure of the Viera and Titusville offices will have been reworked. We will have an auditor and paralegal on board to sort through what has happened over the last two years as we meet with members of the Clerk’s staff. We are going to see what we have legally in past expenditures and contracts as well as what exactly the current financial situation is of the office.”