Software Blunder Will Cost Winnebago County Taxpayers Thousands


Members of the Winnebago County Republican Caucus group had a heated discussion during their meeting Monday night about a software blunder that will cost taxpayers $283,000.

County board member Eli Nicolosi says, “Microsoft had done an audit on the Health Department computers and found out that we were running the wrong version of Microsoft Office. Since we weren’t in compliance, Microsoft fined us.”

Nicolosi says private contractor Gus Getner runs the county’s IT department, and under his watch, the wrong version of Microsoft Office was installed, and not reported to Microsoft.

The county is looking into how that happened. Nicolosi says taxpayers will be carrying the financial burden since Getner’s contract exempts him from liability

Nicolosi says, “Every single contractor needs to have some type of bond and insurance, so that if they make a mistake under our watch, then we can cover it.”

The contract was drafted by former purchasing director Sally Claasen. Claasen resigned from her position last year, after an investigation into her spending.

County board member Gary Jury wondered why she would agree on a deal without insurance.

He says, “I was amazed when I found out she was the one who wrote the contract for Gus. Of course that’s before my time. I have no idea how long the contract had been valid.”

Jury does not expect foul play to be involved in the deal. He and Nicolosi say they want the County to look into every contract to make sure taxpayers are not hit with a heavy burden again.

Nicolosi says, “We have to pay [the fine] now. That’s what’s horrible. So, now the taxpayers are not going to be happy about that. So, now what do we do as a county board? Do we sit there and smile, or do we say how we fix this so this kind of stuff doesn’t happen again?”

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