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City sues software company over SAPD records, dispatch system

Post Date:03/23/2017 6:47 AM

The City of San Angelo filed suit against Spillman Technologies in a Tom Green County state district court Wednesday, seeking the recovery of more than $3.5 million. The City argues Spillman fraudulently misrepresented the functionality of its records management and computer-aided dispatch software and its qualifications to implement the system. It did so in an effort to induce the City to buy its product for the San Angelo Police and Fire Departments at a cost of $1.5 million to taxpayers.

Spillman’s representations that it could deliver a state-of-the-art software system for the City’s first responders were, in fact, misrepresentations. In its lawsuit, the City identifies 12 such misrepresentations Spillman made in its proposal to the City. Spillman’s software lacks much of the core functionality that was promised and does not perform reliably. The company assured it would provide software solutions that do not exist. Further, it lacked the ability to correct defects in the system once it was implemented. Those defects have increased response times, created officer safety issues and jeopardized the lives of our citizens and our first-responders.

In one instance, the system’s failure put the lives of San Angelo firefighters in danger. Firefighters responded to a call of a house fire on Jan. 13, unaware the SAPD had received a call of a man brandishing a rifle in the front yard of the same address, inviting a shootout with police. Firefighters were forced to scramble for cover when they arrived on the scene.

Such outcomes are simply unacceptable. Protecting the public is the City’s most fundamental responsibility and our highest priority.

The City does not make the decision to file suit lightly. From the time Spillman’s system went live in June 2016 through the early part of this year, SAPD personnel and the City’s Information Technology manager worked tirelessly to try to make the Spillman system work and to convince the company to live up to its contractual obligations.  Despite our efforts, Spillman continually failed to deliver on its promises or, in many cases, to even acknowledge problems that clearly exist. The nine months the City has used Spillman software has been fraught with false promises, unresolved complaints, empty assurances and fruitless negotiations, all related to a defective product that has resulted in the loss of millions of dollars in money and in man-hours.

With no working solution on the horizon, the City was left no choice but to seek redress in court. The City alleges four causes of action against Spillman, all of which are related to fraud and breach. Through this lawsuit, the City will vigorously pursue a recovery of the $1.5 million in costs it incurred under the contract, as well as the $2.375 million cost our taxpayers must now pay to purchase a replacement software system. The City is also seeking punitive damages, attorneys’ fees and court costs.

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