The county of Marin filed an amended complaint in federal court Tuesday related to its actions against SAP, Deloitte Consulting and former county official Ernest Culver regarding what it deems as an expensive and defective computer system.
In a press release, the county said the complaint filed in the Northern District of California alleges that Culver misappropriated a massive amount of county computer data shortly before leaving the county’s employ. Culver was the former county assistant auditor-controller who managed the county’s project to implement an enterprise resource planning software known as SAP for Public Sector.
“We have a strong case and are committed to ensuring accountability for our taxpayers,” Board of Supervisors President Steve Kinsey said in the release.
Earlier this month, a federal judge rejected many of Marin County's racketeering claims against the consultants. U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston had asked the county to file a new complaint, and rejected a request from Culver to dismiss the county's lawsuit against him. Culver is accused of accepting bribes in the form of a job offer and lavish meals while he was managing the computer project for the county. Culver headed the project before he joined SAP as an executive.
In its release, county officials states that the amended complaint alleges that as part of his corrupt relationship with SAP and Deloitte, Culver concealed problems on the project, approved Deloitte’s deficient work on the project, and ensured that the county continued to pay SAP and Deloitte substantial fees. SAP and Deloitte are alleged to have aided and abetted Culver’s fraud and breach of fiduciary duty.
The county has also alleged that Culver’s actions violated California Government Code Section 1090, which prohibits public employees from being financially interested in contracts made by them in their official capacity. The county is seeking return of monies earned by SAP and Deloitte pursuant to this statute.
The new claim against Culver alleges a violation of California Penal Code Section 502, known as the Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act. This claim alleges that the county recently discovered that before leaving the county to take a job with co defendant SAP, Culver unlawfully accessed the county’s computer system and copied approximately 30 gigabytes of county electronic data, including the social security numbers and related personal information of thousands of active and retired county employees. Culver currently works as a client services executive for SAP Public Services, Inc.
A second action by the county, alleging that defendant Deloitte Consulting fraudulently induced and breached its SAP implementation contract with the county, is pending in state court. The complaint in that action alleges that Deloitte secured the contract by falsely representing that it had the necessary skills and experience to implement SAP for Public Sector software, and then provided the county with unskilled and inexperienced consultants who delivered a defective system that the County must now replace.