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NYS IG State Fair Public Report 2-14-13

NYS IG State Fair Public Report 2-14-13

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Published by Celeste Katz
NYS IG State Fair Public Report 2-14-13
NYS IG State Fair Public Report 2-14-13

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Published by: Celeste Katz on Feb 14, 2013
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02/21/2013

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State of New York Office of the Inspector General
Investigation into Allegations of MisconductRelating to the New York State Fair
February 2013Catherine Leahy ScottActing State Inspector General
 
 
STAFF FOR THIS INVESTIGATION AND REPORTSPENCER FREEDMAN
Executive Deputy Inspector General
LEONARD COHEN
Chief Counsel
MICHAEL C. CLARKE
Chief of Staff and Counselor
BERNARD COSENZA
Deputy Inspector General for Investigations
AUDREY MAIELLO CUNNINGHAM
Deputy Inspector General
SHERRY AMAREL
Deputy Chief Investigator
DANIEL SULLIVAN
Investigative Counsel
PETER AMOROSA
Investigator
 STEPHEN DEL GIACCO
Director of Investigative Reporting (Albany)
 FELISA HOCHHEISER
Director of Investigative Reporting (New York City)Special Counsel
 
1
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The Inspector General received allegations that New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets officials engaged in misconduct in two competitive procurementsrelating to the New York State Fair, which Agriculture and Markets operates. Specifically, itwas alleged that First Deputy Commissioner Robert Haggerty and State Fair Director Daniel
O’Hara engaged in inappropriate contact with a vendor bidding to provid
e catering andrestaurant services in the Empire Room at the Fair, and that after selecting a vendor, agencyofficials negotiated a contract that deviated materially from terms of the Request for Proposals(RFP), thereby creating an unfair procurement. It was further alleged that during theprocurement of an electronic ticketing system for the State Fair, Haggerty improperly consultedwith representatives of a vendor, then manipulated the procurement to favor a proposal from thatvendor. Finally, it was alleged that Fair management failed to provide adequate security at theFair and allowed two employees to maintain sleeping quarters on the Fairgrounds.Upon conducting an investigation of the allegations, the Inspector General determinedthat Agriculture a
nd Markets’
practices in these substantial procurements were seriously flawed.Specifically, the Inspector General found that Agriculture and Markets issued a flawed RFP forthe Empire Room to which a single vendor responded with an incomplete bid. Following anirregular and flawed evaluation conducted by, among others, Haggerty
and O’Hara
, Agricultureand Markets accepted the bid, then finalized a contract with the sole bidder,
Charlie’s at the
Fair,containing provisions which deviated in material ways from terms of the RFP to the benefit of the vendor. Rather than issue a new and corrected RFP, Agriculture and Markets chose toproceed with a flawed procurement. When the Office of the State Comptroller questioned the

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