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Corruption investigators subpoena more Cuyahoga County records related to Vox Mobile and SpyGlass Group

July 31, 2018

Corruption investigators subpoena more Cuyahoga County records related to Vox Mobile and SpyGlass Group

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cuyahoga County corruption investigators are seeking more county records related to two telecom-auditing firms, Vox Mobile and SpyGlass Group, that sought contracts with the county. 

The County Prosecutor’s Office served a subpoena Tuesday on the administration of County Executive Armond Budish seeking information about ITD-0448, which is the county law department’s internal file on the two companies. 

The file is contained in the law department’s matrix system, where work performed by the county’s lawyers, including drafts of contracts, notes and emails are kept. The subpoena seeks notes, flies and emails. 

The subpoena is the 13th served on the county this year by corruption investigators. Most of the subpoenas have sought records related to the county’s IT Department and two of the department’s top staffers – Scot Rourke and Emily McNeeley. Both McNeeley and Rourke have been placed on leave.  

A subpoena served in April asked for county logs “showing user access, workflow approvals and workflow queues” related to Vox Mobile and SpyGlass. 

On Feb. 13, 2017, the county’s Board of Control authorized a 13-month contract to Vox Mobile for $39,060 and a second contract of the same length to SpyGlass for $100,000. Ultimately, Vox Mobile was given a two-year contract for $75,600, unbeknownst to the Board of Control, while the contract with SpyGlass was never awarded. 

A SpyGlass official said in May that his firm had negotiated changes to its proposed contract that called for a decreased scope of work over two years. But before a contract was signed, the county abruptly broke off talks, the official said. 

The Board of Control, which is chaired by Budish and includes members of his administration and County Council appointees, approves or rejects contracts up to $500,000. Larger contracts go before the County Council. 

Other subpoenas seek email and other communications by Rourke, director of the IT Department, and McNeeley, IT general council and director of special initiatives. 

County records show that Rourke disclosed he was a founder of Vox Mobile and held an ownership stake of less than 5 percent in the company. 

Investigators have also asked about other companies that represent potential conflicts of interest, including Hyland Software, which employs McNeeley’s spouse, and OneCommunity, which Rourke used to run. 

One subpoena sought information about the county’s troubled $25 million computer-integration project, known as ERP. Investigators want to know more about the vendors hired to work on the contract, including Ciber Inc., which was awarded a $9 million contract in October of 2016 before going bankrupt the following spring. 

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