Former official, IT exec plead guilty to bribery, extortion • The Register


A former Maryland Cabinet-level formal and a previous IT govt have pleaded guilty to involvement in a bribery and extortion plan similar to technological innovation contracts about a 10 years in the past.

According to the US Attorney’s Business of the State of Maryland, Isabel FitzGerald, 52, of Annapolis, Maryland, and Kenneth Coffland, 67, of Riva, Maryland, pleaded responsible last 7 days to charges of bribery and extortion, respectively. They ended up indicted in 2017.

From 2009 through September 2011, Coffland worked [PDF] at ACS, which held a $129 million IT internet hosting deal and $229 million purposes deal with the Point out of Maryland Department of Human Assets (DHR). ACS, acquired by Xerox in 2010, managed the datacenter that hosted DHR programs for administering welfare rewards beneath federal and condition systems.

For the duration of that time, Coffland created a doing work connection with FitzGerald, then DHR’s CIO and the person dependable for overseeing the web hosting and purposes contracts. By 2010, the relationship experienced develop into private, in accordance to court documents.

FitzGerald amongst 2007 and 2014 held a variety of condition positions, like as very well as DHR CIO, executive advisor to the DHR Secretary, DHR Deputy Secretary of Functions, and the Secretary of the Section of Information Technology in the Cabinet of then-Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley.

FitzGerald resigned from DHR as of October 2011 but from December 2011 till about a 12 months later on, she served as a advisor to her successor at DHR.

Coffland resigned from ACS/Xerox in September 2011 after FitzGerald had specified notice that she meant to move down. Times immediately after his resignation, Coffland started do the job for a 2nd business that was dependable for reviewing ACS/Xerox’s agreement and for reporting this facts to DHR – when FitzGerald was consulting for DHR.

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By December 2012, FitzGerald had rejoined DHR – she was appointed Deputy Secretary for Operations of DHR and documented to the DHR Secretary.

In accordance to Coffland’s plea settlement [PDF], FitzGerald in early 2013 inspired her successor as DHR CIO to notify ACS/Xerox to take out the person serving as web hosting director. She then achieved ACS/Xerox’s software manager about ostensibly problematic general performance with regard to the web hosting contract.

She indicated she would not renew the company’s point out agreement following it expired in 2014 unless of course it addressed the difficulties she cited. But she advised if the firm rehired Coffland as internet hosting director, he would be able to fix the cited challenges and that would direct to the renewal of the state agreement.

ACS/Xerox did not want to do so, according to the plea settlement, for the reason that it thought Coffland, due to the fact of his individual connection with Fitzgerald, would not reasonably signify the firm’s pursuits when dealing with the condition. Even so, the business enterprise did present to rehire him.

Coffland, knowledgeable of FitzGerald’s negotiations prior to acquiring the choosing present, experienced leverage and countered the firm’s original give with a desire for far far more income and a place as an independent contractor alternatively than personnel.

The enterprise, inspite of its reservations, agreed to pay Coffland at a level of $125 for each hour for up to 2,400 hours annually, a opportunity salary of $300,000, in addition quarterly bonuses of up to $50,000, or $200,000 per year.

Court docket filings also explain how FitzGerald conspired with personnel of an Indiana-based IT agency to threaten the cancellation of a $27.6 million DHR venture if the point out failed to subcontract a part of the operate via the Indiana company. From this, FitzGerald got paid a portion of the deal by a enterprise she formed, Aeon Consulting and Technical Products and services. As element of her guilty plea, FitzGerald must fork out $38,310 in restitution.

FitzGerald faces up to 10 years in federal jail for bribery involving an agent acting on behalf of a plan obtaining federal cash. Coffland could receive as a great deal as 20 several years for extortion. Sentencing for both equally is scheduled for October 13, 2022. ®



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