Ellis Claims Needelman Improperly Withheld Docs
By Scott Ellis // July 22, 2012
Ellis, Needelman To Square Off In Court July 23
EDITOR’S NOTE: Circuit Court Judge John Harris will officiate as former Brevard County Clerk of Court Scott Ellis, and current Clerk of Court Mitch Needelman, square off in court on Monday, June 23 at 9:00 a.m. in Titusville, Florida. Ellis has filed a lawsuit alleging Needelman improperly withheld public records dealing with an $8.52 million contract awarded to BlueGem, a company affiliated with BlueWare. Needelman and Ellis are facing each other in the Brevard County Clerk of Courts Republican primary on Aug. 14.
BY SCOTT ELLIS
If the Clerk’s Office is so proud of the contract and the award, why is there such an issue delivering simple invoices and contracts of BlueWare AKA BlueGem?
On May 24 at a candidate forum, Clerk Needelman stated no firm (of the three respondents) had yet been selected to even begin negotiating a contract. The Invitation to negotiate went out May 4, and was done May 11 – seven days for a multi-million dollar contract.
During this time frame the contract for BlueGem had already been prepared. On May 14 it was sent to outside attorneys to review and their review was discussed May 21. On May 23, the Clerk’s Office sent a wire transfer of $500,000 to Blueware in Michigan to initiate the contract.
Does this sound like what Needelman said the following night, “No firm had even been selected for negotiations.”
The second bidder came in at $2.9 million, far less than BlueGem’s $8.5 million, was all inclusive, and is a firm which has done court records before. BlueWare/BlueGem has never done court records.
The contract allegedly signed June 29 is vague and nebulous. I believe the real contract was signed May 23.
• Why has the Clerk not been asked to justify why BlueGem is $5.6 million better than Fidelity, another bidder which has actually done this work before?
• Why has the Clerk not been asked how he can claim on May 24 no bidder has been selected, yet sent a wire transfer the day before of $500,000 to BlueGem?
• Why were electronic transfers of a total of $900,000 from March to June to BlueGem not uploaded into the Clerk’s financial system until July 9?
– Scott Ellis