Friday, March 29, 2013

Details of Brevard Clerk of the Court Lawsuits Against BlueGem and RoseWare Emerge In Court Filings

VIERA, Florida – Brevard County Clerk of Court Scott Ellis filed two lawsuits on March 29 to call into question business relationships entered into by former Brevard County Clerk of Court Mitch Needelman regarding a disputed court document scanning deal that has been under scrutiny since last year.
Ellis is also asking the Circuit Court of the 18th Judicial Circuit to force BlueGem LLC and RoseWare LLC to return all sums paid by the Clerk of Court, plus interest and costs.  The contracts are worth nearly $6.5 million.  Copies of both filings are posted at the end of this report.

Ellis said immediately after the filing, “We do not believe we received anywhere near promised deliverables on the RoseWare contracts (2013 – CA – 33453).  We do not believe the BlueGem scanning contract was legitimately bid nor awarded for anywhere near a reasonable price (2013 – CA – 33457).”

The suit regarding the BlueGem contract alleges that Needelman used a bidding, selection, and negotiation process that was “fundamentally flawed and against public policy because BlueGem was intricately involved in the preparation of the ITN (Invitation-to-Negotiate) itself and essentially drafted the same.”  It claims that BlueGem was responding to questions from other competing vendors prior through the clerk’s office.
It also alleges that “former Clerk of Court’s executive staff” used private email accounts to communicate “in an attempt to evade and frustrate the disclosure of such communications.”

The BlueGem suit also claims what Ellis has been contending for months – that the Clerk of the Court cannot borrow money “for the purposes of funding, in whole or in part, its contractual obligations.”  Needleman changed the terms of the contract in October 2012 – paying BlueGem in full and signing a promissory note with Hewlett-Packard Financial Services.  HP has recently threatened to sue Ellis to recoup its $6.1 million loan – of which Ellis has not been paying the monthly obligation.
Counts 1 and 3 of the RoseWare suit claim that RoseWare breached an information technology consulting services contract signed by Needelman on April 6, 2012 by not meeting deliverables included in the contract. Ellis claims that Needelman paid RoseWare $250,350.00 before any services were provided.  The suit seeks return of those funds, plus interest and costs.

Count 2 claims that RoseWare breached an April 6, 2012 cost containment contract with Needelman. In this agreement, RoseWare was to renegotiate service and supplier contracts of the Clerk’s Office and receive 35% of savings or cost reduction.  Ellis claims “the Clerk of Court suffered damages.”
Finally Count 4 demands a declaratory judgment that “provisions within the Contracts (named in the suit) are void and unenforceable, and/or the Contracts in their entireties are void, and ordering RoseWare to return to the Clerk of Court all sums paid by the Clerk of Court to RoseWare pursuant to the I.T. Consultancy Contract, the Addendum and the Cost Containment Contract…”

Media requests have been sent to representatives of BlueWare, BlueGem and RoseWare.  Brevard Times will update this story as more information is gathered.

 

5 comments:

  1. OMG they used freeware to monitor... hard to believe this could happen

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-9769562-2.html

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  2. This is not really fair - Rose is going to have to give up her membership at the Yacht Club - you are all a bunch of selfish people in Brevard.

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  3. There is so much more to come out yet. Just wait, the fireworks have just started.

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  4. GO SCOTT!

    Thank you, Scott Ellis, for being such a stalwart protector of the taxpayers! I, and thousands of others, appreciate it very much.

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  5. I hope she pays for the way she has treated others - partners, customers, employers, and the public in general. I hope she feels hurt and let down, just like others did who came in contact with her!
    Time will tell!

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