by Carol Thompson
A contract between Essex County and Info Quick Solutions, Inc. of Liverpool has been procedurally voided, according to the Essex County Code of Ethics and the language that allowed the cancellation is something Oswego County Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler said he would like added to Oswego County’s policy.
The Essex County Ethics Board reached a settlement agreement with the county clerk and deputy clerk in regard to the awarding of a contract to IQS, the same company that was recently awarded a contract in the Oswego County Clerk’s office.
County clerk Joseph Provoncha was reprimanded and fined a total of $3,500 for attempting to improperly influence the awarding of a contract. Deputy Clerk Janet Cross was fined $500 and reprimanded for an improper relationship with an employee of the vendor.
In an agreement reached between all parties, both Provoncha and Cross admitted they violated the county ethics policy in dealing with IQS, a vendor that provides document imaging.
Provoncha stipulated to improper behavior by letting IQS create an evaluation of all of the submitted requests for proposals and then using that evaluation to convince county officials to hire IQS.
He also stipulated that he failed to properly supervise Cross, who had managed the procurement process and wasn’t qualified to do so.
Cross stipulated that she did engage in activities that gave the impression of impropriety because she had failed to disclose a personal business relationship with a representative of IQS. She received a lesser punishment because she cooperated throughout the investigation and agreed to cooperate in any further proceedings.
The Essex County ethics policy states that any contract entered into that results in or from a violation of any provision “shall be void unless ratified by the Essex County Board of Supervisors.” The ratification cannot occur if it does not conform with state law and does not effect any civil or criminal penalties.