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

Barbie Espinol

A previous Maryland Cabinet-degree formal and a former IT govt have pleaded guilty to involvement in a bribery and extortion scheme relevant to technology contracts about a ten years ago.

According to the US Attorney’s Workplace of the State of Maryland, Isabel FitzGerald, 52, of Annapolis, Maryland, and Kenneth Coffland, 67, of Riva, Maryland, pleaded responsible final week to rates of bribery and extortion, respectively. They had been indicted in 2017.

From 2009 by September 2011, Coffland labored [PDF] at ACS, which held a $129 million IT internet hosting deal and $229 million applications deal with the Condition of Maryland Department of Human Means (DHR). ACS, acquired by Xerox in 2010, managed the datacenter that hosted DHR purposes for administering welfare benefits below federal and condition plans.

Throughout that time, Coffland produced a operating relationship with FitzGerald, then DHR’s CIO and the man or woman accountable for overseeing the internet hosting and apps contracts. By 2010, the romantic relationship experienced turn out to be personalized, in accordance to court docket files.

FitzGerald involving 2007 and 2014 held a selection of condition positions, together with as very well as DHR CIO, executive advisor to the DHR Secretary, DHR Deputy Secretary of Functions, and the Secretary of the Office of Info Engineering in the Cabinet of then-Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley.

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

Coffland resigned from ACS/Xerox in September 2011 just after FitzGerald experienced specified observe that she supposed to stage down. Days just after his resignation, Coffland started off get the job done for a 2nd corporation that was accountable for reviewing ACS/Xerox’s deal and for reporting this facts to DHR – even though FitzGerald was consulting for DHR.


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

In accordance to Coffland’s plea arrangement [PDF], FitzGerald in early 2013 inspired her successor as DHR CIO to convey to ACS/Xerox to clear away the person serving as web hosting director. She then satisfied ACS/Xerox’s system supervisor about ostensibly problematic general performance with regard to the internet hosting contract.

She indicated she would not renew the company’s condition deal following it expired in 2014 except it addressed the problems she cited. But she advised if the corporation rehired Coffland as internet hosting director, he would be equipped to take care of the cited challenges and that would lead to the renewal of the point out deal.

ACS/Xerox did not want to do so, according to the plea agreement, since it believed Coffland, simply because of his personalized connection with Fitzgerald, would not quite symbolize the firm’s passions when working with the condition. Even so, the business enterprise did present to rehire him.

Coffland, informed of FitzGerald’s negotiations prior to receiving the using the services of provide, experienced leverage and countered the firm’s preliminary offer with a demand for significantly a lot more income and a position as an independent contractor somewhat than employee.

The enterprise, in spite of its reservations, agreed to pay back Coffland at a level of $125 for each hour for up to 2,400 hrs every year, a possible income of $300,000, furthermore quarterly bonuses of up to $50,000, or $200,000 every year.

Courtroom filings also describe how FitzGerald conspired with employees of an Indiana-dependent IT agency to threaten the cancellation of a $27.6 million DHR undertaking if the condition failed to subcontract a part of the operate via the Indiana organization. From this, FitzGerald got paid a portion of the offer by a organization she shaped, Aeon Consulting and Specialized Solutions. As aspect of her responsible plea, FitzGerald should fork out $38,310 in restitution.

FitzGerald faces up to 10 a long time in federal jail for bribery involving an agent acting on behalf of a program getting federal resources. Coffland could receive as substantially as 20 decades for extortion. Sentencing for the two is scheduled for Oct 13, 2022. ®

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