Overmyer dodges $324K question

Public records provided by Sandusky County court clerk don't explain her partnership with private company that got $324,000 for court work
Register
Mar 31, 2014

The Register asked Sandusky County clerk of courts Tracy Overmyer last week to provide a full and complete description of her relationship with a private company that received more than $324,000 from the county since she took office in January 2010.  

Team Ray Technologies, based in Bellevue, advertised itself as a "joint venture" with the clerk, but Overmyer has refused to respond to questions about her relationship with the company. 

Overmyer was sent a written inquiry on March 22, and again on Tuesday and Friday for information about the joint venture, and for copies of the contracts, bid requests and other public records related to the payments the company received from the county.

On Wednesday, Overmyer replied she would respond on Friday. But the documents she sent late Friday were not responsive to the request.

The six pages she provided are disjointed and all but void of information. 

• The first two pages — both containing the word proposal — are nearly blank and provide no information of substance. 

• The third page is titled “Contents,” listing only the “product,” “payment schedule,” and “sign-off form” with no descriptions of any substance.

• The fourth page is a “Payment schedule” that calls for four payments totaling $45,000. 

• The fifth page is a “change request form,” reducing a pricing plan from $80,000 to $70,000 and appears unrelated to the previous page. 

• The sixth and last page appears to be a paid invoice for Team Ray totaling $9,600, and also appears unrelated to the other pages of information Overmyer provided. 

Overmyer refused to offer an explanation for the disjointed documents she sent, or the contrast between the $324,000 Team Ray has been paid since she took office and the $9,600 paid invoice she did provide.  

The difference is about $314,000. 

Read the documents

— THEYRE IN THE MONEY —

It’s a “joint venture” with clerk of courts Overmyer, or it’s a “pet project” they wanted to build together.

Either way, a vendor used by Sandusky County Common Pleas Court has been paid more than $324,000 in less than four years since Overmyer’s appointment to the court clerk’s job in 2010, according to records from the Sandusky County auditor.

And Team Ray Technologies’ Rockware Justice division also got called out by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on Monday for “deceptive advertising,” and for allegedly making “false claims” at its website about its services. 

“The Ohio Attorney General requests that Rockware Justice and Team Ray Technologies LLC immediately cease from engaging in deceptive acts and practices by representing they have sponsorship, approval or affiliation with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office,” Sandy Lynesky, the AG’s chief in the consumer protection unit, wrote Monday. 

The letter from Lynesky was sent to agents of Rockware Corp., one of numerous trade names the company uses.

 — CONTRACTED SERVICES? —

Overmyer and Team Ray Technologies CEO Ryan Ray apparently have an association that goes back years, but neither of them has offered an explanation about how their partnership was formed, or whether Overmyer is profiting by subcontracting out the court’s work to the company. 

Ryan Ray described the computer services LLC (Limited Liability Company) at the website as a “joint venture” with Overmyer, which is defined as a partnership of sorts and a for-profit endeavor. Public officials are prohibited from profiting from contractual service arrangements with private businesses. 

In the same promotional material, he also hawked the company’s services as having been developed by his family and Overmyer to program a case management software system “that did not have fixed maintenance costs that increase every year like other case management systems.”

A compilation of invoices provided by Sandusky County auditor William Farrell, however, shows Rockware billed the county on a monthly basis with invoices in increasing amounts since September 2010, seven months after Overmyer took office. 

That first payment, for $1,480, was for “County Court Special Projects,” according to the records Farrell provided. 

The last invoice from Rockware Corp. — for $44,520 — was paid March 3, 2014. The description for that payment is “purchase, contracted service,” according to the documents provided by the auditor’s office. 

Farrell said Rockware has various contractual relationships with various county departments. Overmyer was unable to provide contracts the clerk's office might have with the company.

It appears Overmyer has been farming out responsibilities the clerk’s office is required by state law to provide, including the court’s grand jury selection process. It’s not clear if the programming developed by Rockware addresses those requirements, or how the programming assures the fair and open provisions of the Ohio Revised Code are observed. 

Ray changed up the descriptions of his company at its website late Monday, after the Register first reported the claims he made about working with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, removing that reference entirely. 

He also removed the words “joint venture,” replacing that by describing it as a “pet project” his family and Overmyer developed to provide court administrative services. 

Ray did not respond to an inquiry sent to him Tuesday and early Friday.

Overmyer’s initial response was that she would respond later and late Friday she provided the disjointed paperwork.

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Comments

FremontAlice

Sorry, Jake'sDad. Jake and Ella are no longer the center of the story. The SR thinks it will sell more papers if it smears other people. Too bad.

Matt Westerhold

Alice, if you want to continue commenting then you will need to speak for yourself and not ascribe motives to anyone, including the Register, that are self-serving and inaccurate. 

FremontAlice

Let's see if I understand the rules here:

1. I will be banned if I ascribe motives to others which are self-serving and inaccurate;

2. Everyone else is permitted to call Sandusky County's elected officials corrupt, liars, thieves, and anything else they feel like, with impunity.

It's good knowing what the Sandusky Register thinks is fair.

Babo

People are permitted to critique Sandusky County elected officials because they choose to hold "public office" and work for the people. Criticism of government is the heart of the First Amendment.

Only someone who benefits in some way from inefficient or unlawful government actions would attack fellow citizens for exercising their right to criticize the government. Frankly, IMO your actions in defending county officials' lack of transparency and accountability are un-American.

FremontAlice

I'm unAmerican for openly expressing my opinion? Wow.

Just wow.

Babo

Your reading comprehension leaves a lot to be desired. It's not un American to express an opinion. However it is IMO, un American to attack others for expressing their opinions and or questioning the government.

You were not expressing an opinion but defending government officials' lack of transparency and accountability by attacking people for questioning or criticizing public officials.

holysee

Sandusky Register, thank you for doing your job.

Restless1

You've made your point, now get off.

chasf

i'm just glad she out sourced it, imagine the up roar if she had hand picked the special grand jury

Spy's picture
Spy

It sounds like to me that you have an agenda Alice.

the office cat

Jake's Dad... having shared your position elsewhere, I feel deeply for you. As a grandparent I feel VERY DEEPLY for Ella.

Unfortunately, the Register has utilized Ella to cast further aspersions on the 'questionable' government in Sandusky County and how money was spent while avoiding contact with the man who began it all in 2004.

Even IF the Clerk of Courts violated the law in not properly publishing that a Special Grand Jury would be impaneled, it's not going to overturn the action/inaction of the Jury or force Wukie to do his job.

Your petition is worthy (we signed it already and contributed) but will need more media support - without attacks. The facts of Stierwalt, the Sheriff and others is strong enough. But you're dealing with a Republican governor (Stierwalt is a DINO) who knows the local Democrats would fill his position if he's removed and might actually put in a qualified Democrat.

Ctwhalers

Nick it was not Googled up. I bet lots of phone calls where made to verify all of this.

the office cat

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

Ctwhalers

Fremontalice yes Jake and Ella still center of storys but we also including others in Sandusky county that have had wrong done to a family member. Plus register is not smearing others it is only reporting the truth. Was has the Fremont messenger done? Oh wait they take what register says then puts that then comes up with another story to go with it.

SeenSome

Why is it so hard to proof read your post before you send it?

holysee

lAUGH LOL LAUGH LOL!
Attack the messenger, not the message.
Which sandco official are you fremontalice?
Sandusky Register, thank you for doing your job.
The best guage of how good a job you are doing is to observe how many are upset by your reporting.
The more the charlatins complain about you doing your job, the more it is obvious that you are doing your job properly.
It's just like a cop arresting another cop for breaking the law.
Many won't like it, but it's what is SUPPOSED to happen.

Restless1

holysee: Are you employed by the SR? I think so by your many posts above.

the office cat

If 'the best GAUGE of how good a job you are doing is to observe how many are upset by your reporting'... I see only about a dozen here supporting. Even the 'usuals' are missing.

As Sgt. Joe Friday used to say "Just the facts, Ma'am"

Peninsula Pundit

To your point, as a 'usual' on these boards, I notice that YOU and FremontAlice are recent additions beginning with this story line.
Sgt. Joe Friday would disavow the local LEO around here and you know it.

Little Giant

FremontAlice seems to be in denial. If there is nothing to hide.....why hasn't Ms. Overmeyer been more forthcoming with the requested information? Seems like if she would have complied with the document request and there was nothing to hide this whole issue would be over. In addition, the fact that a Commissioner recently resigned to take another job and the fact that Ray Technologies changed their web page suggests that there is something to the story.

the office cat

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

FremontAlice

Geeez, Cat. Looks like Matt can't stand the heat. His answer to criticism seems to be hit the DELETE button. What a convenient way to avoid reasoning with facts.

For those who didn't see his post, (and who might see it before I get deleted / banned) he simply pointed out the large number of people and offices who were involved with the Team Ray relationship, and the times (well before the current clerk took office) involved.

Now the acid test: If Matt doesn't agree with what I say, do I get banned?

Probably.

Matt Westerhold

Geez Alice, you wouldn't even know about any of this information or what question might need to be asked if the Register had not pursued it. Now you and your Office Cat/Dog are salivating over the fact we haven't published followups to this information. You're being banned because you seem, obviously ... just insufferable. 

DickTracey

So, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore.

Jakes Dad

So do you think she did?

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