Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

No Bids Taken for Radio Install ; Former EMA Chief OK'd It

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

No Bids Taken for Radio Install ; Former EMA Chief OK'd It

Article excerpt

An Emergency Management Agency $2,600 purchase to install a radio in a truck in June was done without seeking bids, but Sherman Greer - the man recently ousted as director of the agency - said he followed necessary protocol for approving the purchase.

Greer approved a purchase July 10 for installation of an emergency radio in a new Ford F-250 truck. The work by J& S Communications included $1,600 for 16 hours of labor and $650 for the land mobile radio.

The Courier & Press obtained the information last week from Greer's personnel file through a request using Indiana's Access to Public Records Act.

Purchasing Manager Boscoe Wilhite sent an email Thursday to acting directors of EMA to inform them the purchase request was rejected on the grounds that additional quotes from other vendors were not sought. He advised EMA the order should be put on hold or canceled.

In a subsequent email from Wilhite to Mayor Lloyd Winnecke's Chief of Staff, Steve Schaefer, Wilhite learned the radio was already installed from Capt. Andy Chandler, interim EMA deputy director.

According to the email, he told Chandler the purchase should not have taken place without a purchase order.

Wilhite declined to comment. The Mayor's Office, citing an ongoing administrative review, said they could not comment on the matter.

According to an invoice for the purchase, EMA submitted a Request for Special Purchase Approval, which Greer said was filed because only J& S Communications will install Johnson Communication equipment.

EMA Office Manager Mary Arnold completed the special purchase request, which states: "Johnson Communications are only install (sic) by J& S Communications, especially when some of the equipment is to be removed from an existing vehicle. The other Johnson dealer does not install."

Wilhite wrote in the Thursday email: "I have contacted other communications vendors (Emergency Radio Services) and was informed that they could change out the Johnson Communications equipment that is currently in another vehicle. …

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