EDC Ordered To Surrender BlueWare Docs To Ellis
By Space Coast Daily // August 20, 2013
Infantini makes proposal
ABOVE VIDEO: Brevard County Clerk of Courts Scott Ellis talks with SpaceCoastDaily.com’s Matt O’Hern about the arrest of former Clerk of Courts Mitch Needelman on charges of bribery, bid tampering and official misconduct.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Brevard County Commissioner Trudi Infantini made a proposal this morning during the commission meeting that ordered the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast to surrender all documentation related to the EDC’s dealings with BlueWare to Clerk of Courts Scott Ellis.
Upon the proposal, the other four commissioners including Robin Fisher, Mary Bolin, Chuck Nelson and Andy Anderson, voted in agreement with Infantini.
The commission also unanimously voted to rescind incentives to BlueWare.
The Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast is a public-private not-for-profit partnership between the Brevard County Commission and the Space Coast business community. Lynda Weatherman is the EDC’s president and CEO.
BID TAMPERING, BRIBERY
Last week, agents of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Office of Executive Investigations, arrested former State Representative Mitch Needelman, 60, and his associate, lobbyist William Matthew Dupree, 47. The two were charged with bid tampering and bribery related to the BlueWare scanning contract signed by Needelman when he was the Brevard County Clerk of the Court. Needelman is also charged with official misconduct for allegedly directing employees to use private email accounts to circumvent public records laws.
In addition to Needelman and Dupree, an arrest warrant was issued for BlueWare CEO Rose Harr, 55, also on bid tampering and bribery charges. According to BlueWare, Harr is the sole owner of the company, a corporation and a provider of electronic health information systems with over 220 customers and 100,000 users worldwide. In June 2012, Harr was on hand in Melbourne as BlueWare held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to relocate its operations to Melbourne from Michigan.
BIG CONTRACT, NO EQUIPMENT
The investigation began in July 2012 focused on the $8.52 million scanning contract for digitization of Brevard County records even though BlueWare had no equipment to scan the documents, according to the FDLE. Agents also received a tip alleging Needelman signed the contract with BlueWare in exchange for personal financial gain for himself and Dupree.
CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE ABOUT THE NEEDELMAN INVESTIGATION