Data company sues state House
© St. Petersburg Times
TALLAHASSEE -- A computer company hired to streamline an information system and Internet site for the Florida House of Representatives on Friday filed a $3-million lawsuit for damages against the House.
Officials in the House refused to comment on the suit, which was filed in Leon Circuit Court by G. Donovan Conwell Jr. of the Fowler White Boggs Banker law firm.
Hayes E-Government Resources Inc. filed the suit alleging that the House has failed to pay an agreed-upon $2.9-million for the "Lawmaker" system that was installed under a contract signed on Oct. 30, 2001. If the House won't pay, Hayes wants its computers and software returned.
The original contract was signed by then-House Speaker Tom Feeney and drafted by Paul Hawkes, then a House staff director who is now a judge on the 1st District Court of Appeal.
Hayes contends that the system has been up and running for a year, but House officials have repeatedly complained about failures that have seriously delayed access to bills, amendments and even routine biographical information on House members.
Since October the House has spent more than $400,000 on consultants to get the system operating.
House press secretary Nicole de Lara declined to comment on the suit.
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From the Times state desk
From the state wire