Monday, July 02, 2007

Ron Angle's Complaint Against Northampton County Council


1) Plaintiff, RONALD L. ANGLE, is an adult individual who resides in Upper Mount Bethel Township, Northampton County (Box A, Portland, PA 18351), and is a Councilman of NORTHAMPTON COUNTY COUNCIL.

2) Defendant, NORTHAMPTON COUNTY COUNCIL, is the governing body of NORTHAMPTON COUNTY, consisting of nine elected Council members, and its offices are located at 669 Washington Street, Easton, PA 18042.

3) The Northampton County Home Rule Charter provides, in pertinent part, that county council is both the legislative body of Northampton County and that it also has the power to exercise all "residual powers" of the county. 348 Pa. Code Section 1.2-201.

4) Northampton County's contract with ACS for information technology expires at the end of this year.

5) The county administration established an information technology review committee to review vendor qualifications and make requests for proposals, pursuant to Administrative Code Section 13.09.

6) On May 17, 2007, proposals from three qualified vendors were submitted.

7) The request for proposals had asked for two proposals from each bidder - a "current situation" proposal, one matching current IT levels; and an "alternate situation" proposal, one for alternatives to our current levels.

8) The three "current situation" proposals are as follows: ACS - $10,002,873; CAI - $9,151,000; and CMC - $9,287,652.

9) The three "alternate situation" proposals are as follows: ACS - no proposal; CAI - $8,503,100; and CMC - $8,747,686.

10) There is a $1.5 million difference between CAI's low price and ACS' high price.

11) CAI failed formally to acknowledge two addendums to the request for proposal.

12) CMC neglected to sign its proposal.

13) ACS failed to provide an "alternate situation" monetary bid.

14) The Northampton County Solicitor advised the administration that the technical defects in the CAI and CMC bids required that they be rejected. He further instructed the administration it was unable to negotiation with ACS for a lower price.

15) Based on the advice of the Northampton County Solicitor, the administration could only consider one bid, the bid submitted by ACSD\, even though that bid is approximately $1.5 million higher than CAI's low bid.

16) As a result of this information, the county's information technology review committee recommended that the administration reject the bids and ask all three vendors to submit a second proposal.

17) All three vendors told Fiscal Affairs Director Vic Mazziotti that they were willing to submit new proposals.

18) Northampton County's Administrative Code, Section 13.14, provides that the county executive may reject bids or proposals that are not "in the best interests of the County," but requires that he obtain a resolution from county council authorizing that rejection.

19) On June 21, 2007, Defendant Northampton County Council was presented with a draft resolution to reject these bids because they were not "in the best interests of the County."

20) By a seven to one vote, Defendant Northampton County Council refused to reject these bids.

21) Defendant, Northampton County Council, in refusing to reject the aforesaid bids, abused its fiduciary duty to the taxpayers, as set forth in Heilig Brothers v. Kohler, 366 Pa, 72, 76 A.2d 613 (1950), for the following reasons:

a) It is forcing the county executive to award a contract that will unnecessarily cost taxpayers as much as $1.5 million more than the lowest bid, knowing full well that all three bidders are willing to submit new proposals;

b) It has ignored "the best interests of the County" by exalting fairness to bidders over taxpayer, in violation of the Administrative Code, Section 13.14.

c) It is forcing the county executive to award a contract that is not "most advantageous to the county," in violation of the Administrative Code, Section 13.09(g).

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff, RONALD L. ANGLE, demands that Defendant County Council be ORDERED to reject the aforesaid bids to remedy the breach of a fiduciary duty owed to taxpayers.