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Former state IT manager under investigation

The FBI and Ohio Office of Inspector General are investigating allegations that a former state employee helped steer a lucrative contract to a company to which he had business ties, according to a document obtained Friday by the Dayton Daily News through a public records request.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported in a January 2012 memo to law enforcement that Jatinder Singh, then a manager in the agency’s information technology department, appeared to have business ties with United Software Group, a state IT contractor.

Singh was on a panel of employees that recommended USG for a state contract in September 2010 that placed USG on a list of vendors who were bidding to supply IT support, according to the memo. Singh also supervised a USG employee who worked under that contract.

The company has received more $237,000 from ODJFS since September 2010, according to state records.

Singh, 39, of Dublin, was fired last week in connection to the investigation. Dong Wang, 49, a software developer and Singh’s subordinate employee, was placed on paid administrative leave at the same time, according to ODJFS spokesman Ben Johnson.

Singh made just more than $94,000 in 2012 and was hired in 2003. Wang made $106,200 and was hired in 2002, according to state payroll records.

It’s unclear how Wang is connected to the allegations against Singh. Johnson declined to comment further, as did a spokesman for the Office of Inspector General. A message left with the FBI’s Cincinnati office was not immediately returned.

A message left at USG’s Dublin office was not returned. A phone number associated with Singh in public records was not accepting voice mails Friday, and a phone number for Wang was not available.

ODJFS began investigating Singh in November 2011 after someone told them Singh had business ties to USG. The unnamed person said Singh participated in a job interview that person had with USG, and that Singh frequently traveled with the company’s president to IT events.

“We have not found any records to indicate Singh is employed by United Software Group, Inc., but it is apparent that he has a very close relationship with the company and their president,” reads the memo, written by ODJFS Chief Investigator Robert Ferguson.

Singh’s personnel records show he was investigated once before by OIG in late 2007. Singh in December 2007 disclosed he performed IT and other consulting for two companies owned by his wife, according to a memo from a law firm to ODJFS contained in his personnel file with the subject field “Jatinder Singh Inspector General Investigation.” Additional information about that investigation was not immediately available.

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