Ethics investigation shows state worker solicited payment from vendor

The chief information officer at the Ohio Department of Administrative Services solicited $37,000 from a vendor that has been paid nearly $250 million by the state since 2010, according to a new report by Ohio Inspector General Randy Meyer.

Stuart Davis solicited the payment from CGI Technologies and Solutions, Inc. to sponsor Davis’ speaking session at the 2013 Cincinnati CIO Executive Summit, an event organized by Evanta. CGI paid $37,000 to Evanta. Davis helped plan the summit, according to state records.

The Department of Administrative Services is responsible for human resources, purchasing, information technology, telecommunications and other areas for state government.

Related: Loopholes raise questions about strength of Ohio's ethics laws

Davis, who has been top tech officer at DAS since 2011, is paid $135,407-a-year to oversee state IT activities and strategies. He has been a state employee since 1997.

CGI Technologies has been paid $244.5 million for IT services to the state since 2010 — 98 percent of which was paid out when Davis served as chief information officer at DAS.

Meyer’s office sent the report to the Ohio Ethics Commission, Franklin County prosecutor and city of Columbus prosecutor for review and consideration.

Related: 8 Ohio ethics issues, corruption probes you should know about

The request from Davis to CGI Technologies raised the alarm with company officials. “….it give you any initial heartburn — a request coming from the state CIO (on gov’t email account) for us to sponsor an event?” wrote John Stephan, CGI government markets director, in an email to Nola Haug, the colleague approached by Davis.

During the same time period, Davis reviewed or approved documents to pay CGI $37.9 million, the IG report states.

About the Author