You’ll remember a few weeks ago we had the James DeHaven story on DPHHS corruption.
Aside from that, we have a story revolving around state pensions and whether the records will ever be released.
I asked the IR’s Jesse Chaney on Twitter if he ever got any of those records but he never replied.
We’ll save that story for another time.
Now I’m getting information about some interesting things with continued corruption at the DPHHS.
Supposedly DeHaven was looking into another story the week before he left.
It was a follow-up to that story of a couple weeks before about the corruption at the DPHHS.
You’ll remember that we profiled that extensively on this site in an article called Democrats Shoot the Messenger…Again.
I’m hearing that he was looking into an inappropriate relationship between Deloitte and DPHHS staff.
You might remember that Deloitte got the contract for CHIMES even though they weren't the lowest bid.
CHIMES is the system that manages eligibility for food stamps and housing assistance and even Montana Healthy Kids.
It would be funded by HB 4 in the 2007 May Special Session of the legislature to the tune of $16.2 million for TANF and $13.1 million for SNAP.
Now the bidding process would begin to see who would get that money to develop a system.
In October 2009 it was revealed that Deloitte got the contract, bidding $29.6 million for it.
The IR noted at the time that Deloitte would “send some Montana state government work to foreign workers overseas” as part of the deal.
They also revealed that Deloitte’s bid was $6 million more than Northrop Grumman, which had bid $23.8 million and had also promised to keep that work in Montana.
At the time Northrop had 125 people in its Helena office and intended to make the software there.
The company immediately laid-off 8 people because it lost this deal.
The deal to give the contract to Deloitte instead of the Helena-based firm was signed off on by Anna Whiting Sorrell, the director of DPHHS at the time.
Development of the system began in 2010, with the goal of going live by July 2012. It actually came out in November 2012.
CHIMES replaced the older TEAMS system, but there were problems, so much so that a special hearing of the Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services was called to discuss the matter during the 2013 Legislature.
The subcommittee found 12 major deficiencies with the system. DPHHS workers described the system as a “brain drain” and a “good incentive to retire.”
So bad was the system that 27 of 50 Yellowstone County OPI staff did quit, whereas just 15 had over the previous nine months.
So why was such a bad system used in the first place?
It’s a good question…and perhaps someone in the Schweitzer administration would have the answer to that.
Maybe there was something in all the emails that Bullock deleted from the AG’s office.
We know that Deloitte made a sizeable contribution to Bullock’s inauguration fund, after all.
The inappropriate relationship has continued over the last several years, with Deloitte illegally funding several trips for DPHHS employees.
The real meat to the story comes to us from late-2014, however.
Deloitte hosted an event at Great Divide ski area outside Helena for a bunch of DPHHS workers.
The director in charge of maintenance and operations of the CHIMES project got drunk and crashed a state car while driving home.
This was Cory Mabry.
The legal council recommended Mabry be fired over this but someone intervened.
She’s still gainfully employed at DPHHS.
Pam Crewey at DPHHS would supposedly have a termination file with all the details.
I gave her a call and left a message.
Maybe we’ll hear back.