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

A previous Maryland Cabinet-degree formal and a previous IT government have pleaded guilty to involvement in a bribery and extortion scheme related to know-how contracts about a 10 years ago.

According to the US Attorney’s Office of the Point out of Maryland, Isabel FitzGerald, 52, of Annapolis, Maryland, and Kenneth Coffland, 67, of Riva, Maryland, pleaded responsible last week to costs of bribery and extortion, respectively. They have been indicted in 2017.

From 2009 as a result of September 2011, Coffland worked [PDF] at ACS, which held a $129 million IT hosting contract and $229 million purposes deal with the Condition of Maryland Department of Human Assets (DHR). ACS, obtained by Xerox in 2010, managed the datacenter that hosted DHR applications for administering welfare gains underneath federal and condition plans.

Through that time, Coffland formulated a functioning partnership with FitzGerald, then DHR’s CIO and the human being responsible for overseeing the internet hosting and apps contracts. By 2010, the relationship experienced turn into individual, according to courtroom documents.

FitzGerald between 2007 and 2014 held a quantity of state positions, including as perfectly as DHR CIO, executive marketing consultant to the DHR Secretary, DHR Deputy Secretary of Functions, and the Secretary of the Division of Information Technological innovation in the Cupboard of then-Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley.

FitzGerald resigned from DHR as of Oct 2011 but from December 2011 till about a year later on, she served as a consultant to her successor at DHR.

Coffland resigned from ACS/Xerox in September 2011 after FitzGerald had given recognize that she supposed to move down. Times right after his resignation, Coffland begun function for a 2nd enterprise that was responsible for examining 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 had rejoined DHR – she was appointed Deputy Secretary for Functions of DHR and documented to the DHR Secretary.

According to Coffland’s plea settlement [PDF], FitzGerald in early 2013 inspired her successor as DHR CIO to convey to ACS/Xerox to clear away the individual serving as hosting director. She then met ACS/Xerox’s system supervisor about ostensibly problematic effectiveness with regard to the web hosting contract.

She indicated she would not renew the firm’s state agreement immediately after it expired in 2014 unless of course it resolved the troubles she cited. But she advised if the company rehired Coffland as internet hosting director, he would be capable to deal with the cited challenges and that would direct to the renewal of the condition contract.

ACS/Xerox did not want to do so, in accordance to the plea arrangement, due to the fact it considered Coffland, since of his own marriage with Fitzgerald, would not quite symbolize the firm’s interests when dealing with the state. Nonetheless, the business enterprise did offer to rehire him.

Coffland, informed of FitzGerald’s negotiations prior to getting the choosing give, had leverage and countered the firm’s preliminary present with a demand from customers for far much more revenue and a placement as an impartial contractor fairly than staff.

The organization, in spite of its reservations, agreed to fork out Coffland at a amount of $125 for each hour for up to 2,400 hours every year, a opportunity income of $300,000, furthermore quarterly bonuses of up to $50,000, or $200,000 on a yearly basis.

Court docket filings also explain how FitzGerald conspired with staff members of an Indiana-based IT business to threaten the cancellation of a $27.6 million DHR project if the point out failed to subcontract a portion of the perform as a result of the Indiana organization. From this, FitzGerald bought compensated a portion of the offer by means of a company she fashioned, Aeon Consulting and Complex Products and services. As component of her guilty plea, FitzGerald ought to pay out $38,310 in restitution.

FitzGerald faces up to 10 decades in federal jail for bribery involving an agent acting on behalf of a system receiving federal resources. Coffland could acquire as much as 20 decades for extortion. Sentencing for each is scheduled for Oct 13, 2022. ®