Team Ray deals big paydays

Computer programming for Sandusky County courts charged at $120 an hour
Register
Apr 24, 2014

Ryan Ray worked 12 hours New Year’s Day for Sandusky County courts. He earned $1,440.

He worked the next day, too, for 13 hours and earned $1,560.

January was a good month for Ray, the CEO of Team Ray Technologies.

Between Ray and one employee, the county paid the company $45,520 in January.

The previous month — December 2013 — they pulled down $36,520 in hourly pay.

Ray worked four hours Christmas Day, earning $480 at his usual rate of $120 per hour.

The TRT employee worked on county computer software and engineering for four hours on Christmas Eve, earning $320 at his standard rate of $80 per hour.

But there are no county documents that establish the hourly rate, or any other substantial description of the services TRT provides the county.

“I do not know what they consist of,” court administrator Brock Kimmet said. “That process had already been initiated prior to my arrival.”

Coming Saturday: Read about visiting Judge Dale Crawford's whacky words on "evil"  and "witch hunts."

TRT was exempted from the usual competitive bid process for the county work back in 2004, according to Warren Brown, who at that time was the county clerk of courts.

But Brown and other county officials don’t have any contract with Team Ray — nothing that spells out the service, describes the product, sets the hourly pay rates or establishes expectations.

Brown currently serves as county administrator. He is a candidate for the Republican nomination for county auditor in next month’s Primary Election.

The county provided just one signed document in response to multiple records requests from the Register for a copy of any TRT contracts. That January 2008 document bears Brown’s signature as clerk of courts. It spells out a price reduction from $80,000 to $70,000 but provides no other substantial description of the product or services.

The signed document was provided to the Register by current clerk of courts Tracy Overmyer with a 2011 invoice from TRT for $9,600. The invoice states the payment is for the “complete development of Rockware Justice ... including one year of support until Jury Pull of 2013 the summer of 2012.”

Sandusky County assistant prosecutor Norman Solze, in a March 25 email to Overmyer, said TRT was exempt from competitive bidding because of its established relationship with the county and the uniqueness of its product. Solze said he reviewed the TRT contract, but he declined to answer questions about why the county did not retain a copy of the contract after he reviewed it.

The county has not provided any invoices that date back to 2004 but did provide invoice information from September 2010 through current billings from Team Ray. That compilation shows the company was paid more than $360,000 since 2010. It also shows some of the largest monthly bills — based on hourly rates of $120 and $80 per hour for Ray and one TRT employee, respectively, are more recent:

•January 2014: $45,520 (440 hours)

•December 2013: $36,520 (346 hours)

•November 2013: $14,120 (120 hours)

Overmyer said TRT is providing programming packages for the Sandusky County Common Pleas Court, the Woodville and Clyde courts, municipal courts and the adult probation department. She would not answer questions about why there is no contract available detailing any of the programs, services or functions of that service.

Ryan Ray has not responded to numerous inquiries from the Register.

Sandusky County commissioners Dan Polter and Terry Thatcher also have not responded to inquiries about the payments and arrangements with Team Ray Technologies, or the lack of any contracts.

Brown said he was not involved with the current arrangements Team Ray has with the courts, the clerk’s office or the adult probation department and did not have any information about the payments the company received. 
 
 
 

Comments

MrSandusky

If this is the same "Team Ray" that has sells the used trucks, then this is not a surprise.

It is also not a surprise to those that have had to deal with them on the soccer fields either...

Ralph J.

There are five "Team Ray" companies listed with the Ohio Secretary Of State from Bellevue.
TEAM RAY CHARTERS LLC
TEAM RAY SERVICES, INC.
TEAM RAY TECHNOLOGIES
TEAM RAY TECHNOLOGIES LLC
TEAM RAY TRADERS

http://www2.sos.state.oh.us/pls/...

http://www2.sos.state.oh.us/pls/...

Babo

Thanks for the links. Note that Jeremiah Ray is an attorney and did some of the work for Ryan Ray and has an interest in some of the companies. Attorney Ray could be in a tough ethical spot if his client/relatives are receiving public funds without proper contracts.

lrherrel's picture
lrherrel

interesting!

worddrow811

I wonder if his wife is considered to be an 'employee'?

Stop It

Matt, may I ask you if you are simply a salaried employee of the publisher of the SR or, do you get paid salary plus overtime? You certainly aren't in that building 24/7/365. At times the time stamp included with your post shows very early in the morn or very late at night. I know many that collect salary can and do their job while at home, besides the office.

Matt Westerhold

Thanks for the question, Stop it. None of my income is derived from taxpayer dollars, and the IT systemns the SR uses allow stories to be scheduled for publication, meaning it can be arraged to publish at the website on a schedule.  

Stop It

Thank you for answering, Matt. I know the guys on Team Ray as far as IT goes because I have worked with them. They come across as very competitive but never out to rip anyone off. JMHO.

MiddleRight

If there was nothing going on here, someone would have a contract. Each payment a county makes needs to be supported by an invoice. Someone is signing off on the work and the payment.
None of these issues are answered.
Maybe the State Auditor should get involved. They could issue findings for recovery for any inappropriate expenditures.

lrherrel's picture
lrherrel

Well stated! If nothings going on, then why the secrecy?

Jim Lahey

Just wondering... how much does the register pay their IT guys?

Matt Westerhold

Thanks for the question, Jim, but none of the SR's IT salaries are paid with taxpayer dollars. 

Jim Lahey

What difference does that make? Whether it's the Register or the Sandusky Co. Common Pleas court, an IT worker is an IT worker. What don't you just answer the question instead of dodging it like you accuse everyone else of
doing?

Babo

You can't be as ignorant as your statements indicate. Then again, you probably work in government.

Jim Lahey

Ignorant? If a place needs to pay for a 15,000 dollar car, it didn't matter whether a government agency buys it, or a pizza place buys it . It's still a 15,000 dollar car. It still has to be paid for to get a job done . If the cost of the services shock you, you should see how much other courts pay. Or even the Register. But wait, "I've already submitted a records request to the Register and they have refused to answer"

Babo

How do we know the value of the services provided or if the services are even necessary without a contract or documentation?

Critical thinking isn't your strong suit is it?

Jim Lahey

Lol... instead of letting someone do your thinking for you why don't you go ask that question?

Babo

No need as the question directed to you was answered.

Matt Westerhold

Really Jim, you're not understanding these issues. The Register is not subject to public records law, but I can assure you, there's never been an IT worker at the Register who earns $120 per hour. It might be true that it is a going rate in the private sector, but not here. 

Babo

It's not true in the private sector either. I know what my business pays for an outside IT consultant and the price includes the wages paid the IT consultant and all business overhead. Out of the $120.00 per hour the actual wage paid to the IT person is about 1/3 or $40.00 plus benefits. Thus an IT person might make $80,000 a year.

Why doesn't the county have it's own IT position?

ContraryAnn

Vitte fired...

Read it in the News-Messenger 6:30 p.m.

DGMutley

Cool! ContraryAnn, What do YOU think of Team Ray's big paydays?

Ctwhalers

Great article again matt. Do not care when you post as long as you keep us posted and up to date.

ContraryAnn

Speaking of up to date.... Vitte fired.

mimi's word

I have dealt with Team Ray for wrestling and the teams as a whole are very pompous and rude. I would never consider doing any business with anyone under this name. The tone of this article doesn’t surprise me.

Blue.Streaker

And in related news, the Toledo Blade has something interesting to report:

http://www.toledoblade.com/State...

Darkhorse

So much for having any checks and balances in place. Who is looking out for tax dollars? The situation has passed by the county commissioners, treasurer, and auditor, who audits the books, without anyone saying anything about it or even questioning the expenditures. Plus, no one checks on the ethics involved with all the relationships to each other.

Little Giant

Somebody needs to answer questions soon or a few people need to end up in jail. This really stinks. That invoice from January really needs to be made public.

wjs

Not to say there aren't issues here, but by itself, the hourly rate does not raise concerns. $125-$150 an hour is quite normal for IT and software development services.

wjs

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained A duplicate post.

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