Friday, February 8, 2019

Councilmember Craig Rice Thinks New Bus Camera Co. is Not Connected to CEO who Plead Guilty to Bribery and Conspiracy

Part 2  (See Part 1 at this link)

On September 25, 2018, the Montgomery County Council held a public hearing on the appropriation of bus camera citation fine money from MCPS to BusPatrol.

One member of the public spoke to this appropriation and expressed concerns about the contract, the lack of bids and the criminal money laundering convictions connected to the company that MCPS hired to install cameras on school buses.  The company MCPS and the Montgomery County Police contracted with was called Force Multiplier.

When Force Multiplier shut down after the CEO Robert C. Leonard was arrested, the directors and officers reformed the company as BusPatrol.  BusPatrol sold the same patented product that had been sold by Force Multiplier.

When Force Multiplier shut down, MCPS' Superintendent Jack R. Smith simply continued the contract with the same people, minus the CEO who was arrested, and did not bring the new contract to the Board of Education for approval.  Superintendent Smith did not notify the Board of Education that Force Multiplier had been shut down by an FBI investigation.  Instead, Superintendent Smith simply inserted the name BusPatrol as if it was just a name change.

In response to the public comment about MCPS dealing with a company that had been shut down after an FBI investigation, Councilmember Craig Rice said, "...other remaining members of the company were found to be of no wrongdoing and that's the reason they started their own company.  Certainly you can understand a business who has someone who is corrupt does not reflect on all of the employees of that corporation."  

What Councilmember Rice failed to mention is that the "new" bus camera company was actually the 4th name change for the same group and the "new" company is still using the same product owned by the CEO who was arrested and plead guilty to bribery and conspiracy. 

When Force Multiplier was shut down after the CEO Robert Leonard was arrested and plead guilty to bribery and conspiracy, remaining officers formed a new company using the same products.  The new company was called BusPatrol and according to their statements, they purchased the assets of Force Multiplier.

The underlying product being sold by BusPatrol is based on a Patent that is registered to the CEO of the former company who was arrested.  See the chart above.

That means that it is possible that the person that was arrested and plead guilty to bribery and conspiracy charges could still be profiting from the sales of the patented bus camera system in use by MCPS.   

But no elected officials or County administrators are going to investigate this no bid contract and no County Inspector General is going to examine this bus camera scheme that costs taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in police, school system, and court personnel yet yields zero revenue to the County

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