Local Aberdeen businessman Matt Deilke went before the Brown County Commission Tuesday and asked for IT director Paul Sivertsen’s head. Deilke questioned the reliability of Sivertsen and the Brown County Fair’s online ticketing system that he designed and put in his name, SivTechEvent.com, on GoDaddy’s server instead of the county’s. The Aberdeen American News reported on Deilke’s comments. Deilke himself recorded his complete statement to the board and shares it with us on YouTube:
Deilke questioned the quality and reliability of the ticket sales reports. He noted that the county treasurer saw numbers change from report to report without explanation. Deilke said that Commissioner Sutton told the county treasurer not to question Sivertsen’s financial reports when preparing the sales tax reports.
In his most important statement of his testimony, Deilke said, “We are now at the point where $127,300 in ticket sales that we know of went through an online ordering system with zero, zero oversight from anyone but Paul Sivertsen in IT, who has shown on many occasions to be less than transparent and honest.” I have to agree: the idea that six figures could move through any county office without more than one set of eyes checking that cash flow is incredible.
Deilke reinforced the inappropriateness of Sivertsen’s apparent lack of transparency by citing the Code of Ethics of the Association of Information Technology Professionals, which states in part that IT professionals shall not “misrepresent or withhold information concerning the capabilities of equipment, software or systems” nor “misrepresent or withhold information that is germane to the situation.”
Citing US Bank’s statement that they could have provided similar services without added expense within the context of their current relationship with the county, Deilke said that Sivertsen spent a year developing a system “at the taxpayers expense that was a flop for nothing, costing us tens of thousands of dollars, all because he chose to lie and say he contacted our credit card providers when he did not.”
Deilke said that Commissioner Sutton’s long-standing friendship with Sivertsen warrants his recusing himself from further county decisions relating to Sivertsen’s work for the county. Offered a chance to respond at this point in Deilke’s statement, neither Sutton nor any other commissioner did.
Deilke reminded the commission of their willingness to overlook Sivertsen’s double-billing of the county for a couple of computers and to hire Sivertsen on a 3–2 vote just two months after that double-billing was in the news.
Deilke asked the commissioners to fire Sivertsen. No commissioner spoke up. Commissioner Rachel Kippley, who joined Commissioner Tom Fischbach in voting against hiring Siversten last December, said she’s not ready to make a motion on the idea of firing Sivertsen, but she said to Deilke, “I do want to do some digging on the things you’ve brought to light.”
We’ll see at upcoming meetings just how much digging Commissioner Kippley does and what action such digging warrants.