City suing over SAPD records, dispatch system
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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City Attorney's office
The mission of the City Attorney is to represent the City by providing professional, effective and ethical legal assistance to the City Council, City Manager and all other City departments and boards. The City Attorney's Office cannot provide legal advice or representation to citizens.
The City of San Angelo faces a vast number of varied legal matters. These include: contracts, real estate transactions, economic development, claims against the City for damages, litigation, employment law, civil service regulations, lake lot sales and leases, water and sewer services, issues related to providing a cemetery, a museum, an airport, parks, recreational facilities, police protection, and water and sewer services; collections, eminent domain, bankruptcy, prosecution of cases in Municipal Court, code enforcement, open meetings and open records, and more. It is the role of the Office of the City Attorney to advise the City in these legal matters, represent the City in court, conduct research, attend City Council and board meetings as required, and draft or review documents relating to all of the above.
Does the City Attorney's Office handle landlord/tenant disputes, divorces or any other personal legal problem I may have?
No. The City Attorney represents the City of San Angelo as a municipal entity and cannot represent individual citizens in private legal matters.
If an individual desires legal representation in a private matter, he or she must retain an attorney who has a private practice. The State Bar of Texas has a toll free number for lawyer referral 1-800-252-9690 or you can visit its website at www.texasbar.com.
If the individual makes below a designated income level and qualifies for legal assistance, Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas, 325-653-6982, may provide legal aid. It charges fees based upon a qualifying client's income.
What can the City do when a neighbor’s tree limbs extend over the property onto my property?
Neighborhood disputes are best handled by approaching the neighbor and attempting to arrive at a solution acceptable to both parties. However, this is a private legal matter for which the City Attorney's office can offer no legal advice.
What can be done if my neighbor engages in activities that make loud noises or if his dog barks continually?
If possible, attempt to resolve the dispute with your neighbor by talking with him about the problem. If this approach is unsuccessful or impractical, you can contact the Municipal Court prosecutor's office at 325-657-4407. The prosecutor will review the complaint and, if appropriate, send a letter to the neighbor, stating the complaint and advising they may be in violation of a City ordinance.
Should that prove unsuccessful, you may wish to record a particular date, time and frequency of the noise, and present this complaint to the prosecutor if you are willing to testify and press charges against the responsible party. It is up to the prosecutor's discretion whether to file a formal complaint against any individual, and he may ask you to work with him to gather additional evidence necessary to successfully prosecute the case.
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