Orange County, NY, officials find IT vendor innocent of criminality, point to improper procurement

Orange County, New York, legislators concluded that the county government improperly procured a contract with one of its IT vendors.
Aerial shot of Newburgh, a small city in the Hudson River Valley in Orange County, New York on a cloudy autumn afternoon. (Getty Images)

A legislative committee in Orange County, New York, this week concluded an investigation into recent accusations that government contracts had been unfairly awarded to an IT services company called StarCIO on the basis of the owner’s familial ties to a county official.

An Orange County legislature committee found “no evidence of fraud, corruption or criminality relative to the procurement of the StarCIO contract,” according to a report. They wrote that there was no “sweetheart deal” from the commissioner or any other high-ranking members of the county’s executive administration. The committee did, however, find that the StarCIO contract was improperly procured because of how paperwork was handled during the contract selection process.

The investigation closed after New York Sen. James Skoufis last year released a report calling for the resignation of Langdon Chapman, the county’s human resources commissioner, who was accused of awarding an IT contract to his brother-in-law, Isaac Sacolick, who owns StarCIO.

Orange County now looks to move forward with new controls, including “not-to-exceed” amounts for contracts, a new contract management system and a new procurement and administration policy that is being drafted and will require training once affirmed by the legislature.


“While it is unfortunate that the StarCIO was improperly procured, as noted herein, it was not due to any impropriety, fault, error or criminality on the part of StarCIO and Isaac Sacolick,” the report states. “The county, through the Department of General Services, had the duty to properly procure the contract pursuant to the procurement policy. The contract was improperly procured because there were issues with other quotes used in combination with the StarCIO quote prior to the contract being awarded to StarCIO. This has nothing to do with either Isaac Sacolick or StarCIO.”

“I am pleased the county legislature’s investigative committee’s central finding confirmed what has been obvious from the start: ‘The StarCIO contract was not properly procured,’ Skoufis said in a statement to StateScoop. “From soliciting fake quotes to illicitly escalating the contract’s cost to taxpayers, the report’s findings make clear the county administration has been lying to the public for months. My team and I are proud to have helped expose this wrongdoing in October. As to the question of criminality, the county legislature’s attempt to cover for their political friends is of no consequence. I have said from the start that law enforcement will be the final arbiter of criminality. I am grateful the FBI is thoroughly investigating the matter.”

The FBI last month served the county with a subpoena for documents as it investigates the case. 

Caroline Nihill

Written by Caroline Nihill

Caroline Nihill is an editorial fellow at Scoop News Group. She earned her bachelor’s in media and journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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