Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, May 13, 2011

NYCDOE Official Linked To Alleged Consultant Corruption Resigns

Blogger's been down since yesterday morning, so haven't been able to post - plus yesterday's posts seem to have been lost into the ethosphere, but I did want to quickly get this story up in case you haven't seen it. Again, great reporting from Juan Gonzalez at the Daily News - here is the column in full:

A Department of Education executive who supervised a major computer consulting firm that is under investigation for possible corruption has suddenly resigned.

Judith Hederman, the $168,000-a-year executive director of the DOE's division of financial operations, submitted her resignation on May 4, DOE officials confirmed.

That was the day the Daily News reported that Richard Condon, the schools' special commissioner of investigation, had filed court papers saying a "high-level" executive at the DOE with "oversight" over the $43 million contract of Florida-based Future Technology Associates, had a "personal relationship" with one of the owners of FTA.

FTA, which has not been charged with wrongdoing, is under investigation for "potential corruption and conflict of interest," the court papers say.

An affidavit submitted by Condon's deputy, Gerald Conroy, as part of a court dispute over the agency's subpoena power, did not identify the DOE official. A source at the DOE has since confirmed it was Hederman.

The affidavit said the unnamed official, who was interviewed under oath on April 14, initially denied having a personal relationship with either of FTA's owners, Tamer Sevintuna or Jonathan Krohe.

Four days after that interview, the official's lawyer called Condon's office and retracted the original denial of a personal relationship.

Hederman worked at the DOE since 1995. For nearly two years, until last November, she supervised the FTA contract.

She did not respond to phone calls and email requests in the past week for comments. Sevintuna and Krohe have repeatedly declined to respond to questions.

For more than a year, Condon's office has been probing a web of companies that Sevintuna and Krohe secretly controlled and utilized as subcontractors for themselves, including two that supplied consultants in Turkey and India to service the DOE computer system remotely.

FTA's contract bars the company from subcontracting or using outside consultants, and officials say the firm never told them about the practice.

Some of the Turkish workers, The News has found, were paid as little as $3,370 a month by a separate firm Sevintuna and Krohe owned in Turkey, yet FTA billed the DOE $22,400 a month for the labor of those workers. At least six were still on the DOE payroll as recently as March.

Nearly two years ago, The News began asking DOE officials about the unusual aspects of the agency's contract with FTA.

For example, the firm has never had any established offices, even though it has supplied as many as 80 consultants at a time to the DOE and has received close to $100 million from the school system over the past decade.

FTA headquarters in Jacksonville, Fla., is a mailbox in a UPS store. So is a second address in Brooklyn.

Another FTA subcontractor, MERA consulting, which received $14 million from the DOE contract, was wholly owned by Krohe. MERA's main address was another mailbox in the same Florida UPS store.

Only weeks after Condon's investigators began asking questions about MERA, Krohe dissolved the company.

Much of this appears to have happened while Hederman was supervising the contract. Hederman is gone, but the probe continues.

The FTA scandal and the Hederman resignation come on top of the Williard Lanham arrest for allegedly stealing $3.6 million dollars and of course the CityTime scandal that saw $80 million+ stolen by consultants and the project itself go $700 million over budget.

And yet Bloomberg is still getting away with laying off all these teachers even as he spends hundreds of millions on computer contracts for 2011-2012.


  1. How much more of this is going to be exposed [or not be exposed?].-Once again, I believe that this was another one of the DoE's no bid contracts. Wonder if it is time for me to sell the little emperor the Brooklyn Bridge?

  2. Were you having blogger withdrawal too for last day? I am SO RELIEVED that blogger is back and working again, even though many posts and comments have suddenly vanished.

  3. Yeah, there was SO much going on, with the rally downtown, and the corruption at the DOE and now Cuomo's ratcheting up testing and teacher evals - and I couldn't get any of it up!

    Just going to show, when blogger goes down, the terrorists win.

    Anon, this is the third major contracting scandal - we'll see if the Teflon Mayor ducks accountability for it.

    So far, he has managed to maintain his "I'm A Businessman, I Know How To Manage Money!" jive.

    The truth is, he seems to have been about as conscious of the corruption going on around him as Koch was.

  4. He should have resigned from the very early time. In fact i would say these types of people should not be given any big responsibilities.