A association that provides choosing services to St. Clair County — and whose website crashed on choosing night — gave some-more than $3,000 in domestic donations before being awarded an $826,560 no-bid contract.
The debate donations were done to a county’s former clerk, Bob Delaney, who quiescent in 2013 amid scandal. He could not be reached for comment.
One of a donations came only days before to a association promulgation a contract-renewal offer to Delaney’s office. The company, Platinum Technology Resource, formed in northern Illinois, now has a agreement to yield election-related services to a St. Clair County clerk’s bureau from 2014 by 2017.
The association provides election-support services to St. Clair County and about a dozen other counties in a region. The services embody posting opinion formula to a website and updating them around choosing night, though a site crashed for hours on Mar 15, after a polls sealed for a primary.
The company’s owners declined to criticism on domestic donations, though pronounced a problems on choosing night were caused by heated seductiveness in a opinion formula and high trade to a website.
David Yepsen, executive of a Paul Simon Public Policy Institute during Southern Illinois University, pronounced it “looks bad” when open officials accept debate income from vendors who do business with their supervision agencies.
“It undermines a open certainty in inaugurated officials,” Yepsen said. “When people see things like this, they assume a worst.”
It undermines a open certainty in inaugurated officials. When people see things like this, they assume a worst.
David Yepsen, director, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute
Platinum Technology and a owners and employees have done a handful of debate donations to other bureau and politicians in a counties where it has contracts, though nothing surpassing $300. It’s not unheard of for inaugurated officials to accept debate donations from vendors, though some inaugurated officials try to equivocate them.
Clinton County Clerk Mary Rakers has a agreement with Platinum, though she has not perceived any domestic contributions from a company.
“That would be — we would consider — a dispute of interest,” Rakers said.
According to a state house of elections, a late Jay Bennett and his wife, Mary Pat Bennett, who owns Platinum, done dual $1,500 contributions to Citizens for Delaney, a debate cabinet for Delaney.
One of a $1,500 donations came in Mar of 2009 and a other in 2010, before Jay Bennett died in 2012. Jay Bennett also done dual $500 donations to Delaney in 2002, when Jay Bennett worked for a identical company, Fidlar Doubleday.
Another $200 grant was done by a Bennetts to Delaney’s debate on Mar 14, 2013 — 5 days before Platinum sent a contract-renewal offer to Delaney’s office.
The County Board authorized a contract.
Current St. Clair County Clerk Tom Holbrook, who was allocated clerk in 2013 after Delaney’s resignation, pronounced a county does not have to find bids or requests for proposals for veteran work, such as a choosing services.
Holbrook pronounced that, during his tenure, a association has always supposing arguable service. Holbrook has not perceived any debate income from Platinum.
Counties that have contracts with Platinum embody St. Clair, Monroe, Adams, Clinton, Fayette, Hardin, Marion, Pulaski, Randolph, Union and Wayne. The association also provides services to a East St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners.
Platinum, in response to inquiries from a News-Democrat, released a press release, in that a association called a Mar 15 choosing a success. Platinum pronounced it had tabulated votes in 95 percent of precincts by 9 p.m., and a remaining 5 percent were finished by 10 p.m. on choosing night.
The association pronounced a website with opinion formula was impressed by “traffic ensuing from a heated seductiveness in all contests,” a news recover said. “This resulted in a complement being intermittently permitted for 3 and half hours. After 10:30 p.m. on choosing night, and since, all formula have been permitted for open review. Official formula will be posted to a site once a choosing is certified.”
“We deeply honour a needs of a clients and a communities they serve,” Platinum added. “We will be adding additional resources to a complement to hoop all levels of trade to safeguard that a news site will be permitted during all times.”
We deeply honour a needs of a clients and a communities they serve. We will be adding additional resources to a complement to hoop all levels of trade to safeguard that a news site will be permitted during all times.
Platinum Technology Resource statement
The choosing night website disaster is concerning to Yepsen.
“The fact is, a vendors constructed a product that didn’t produce,” Yepsen said. “It becomes some-more of a doubt of, how is a chairman selected?”
Dennis Knobloch, a Monroe County clerk, praised Platinum in a company’s news release.
“Despite a problems encountered with carrying formula immediately permitted on a web, we supposing that information to a open around phone, internal media outlets and approach contact, with small or no regard from a voting public,” Knobloch said.
Monroe County has used Platinum given 2008, and a agreement was not put out for bid or a ask for offer when it renewed for a 2014-2017 time frame, Knobloch said.
For a Mar primary, Monroe County paid Platinum $41,084 for choosing services. The sum agreement value for a 2014-2017 time support is $236,000.
County bureau around a area have pronounced a association has been useful and has supposing good use over a years.
Emails performed by a BND uncover a considerate attribute between county clerk employees and employees during Platinum. The emails embody discussions of attending events such as a cooking during a clerk conference, a St. Louis Blues diversion and a golf outing.
But a emails also uncover a company’s low turn of impasse in doing a elections in any county.
The association helps keep voter registrations updated, provides representation ballots for bureau to explanation before elections, provides refreshers on traffic with troops absentee list applications, updates bureau on a upkeep of voting machines and does other prep work before to elections. Platinum also sends out updates about legislation that would impact voter registration or election.
After Delaney resigned, a county staid passionate nuisance claims opposite him for $665,000. Five county clerk bureau employees done accusations opposite Delaney, that he denied.
Platinum is formed in St. Charles, in northern Illinois. Mary Pat Bennett and her son, Jay C. Bennett III, who serves as arch handling officer for Platinum, reside in that area.