October 8, 2013, - 5:54 pm

EXCLUSIVE: Bankrupt Detroit Paid $11.7 Million for Defective Computer System No One Used – @ Today’s Detroit City Council Mtg

By Debbie Schlussel

Hey, another example of why Detroit is bankrupt.

I just returned from a Detroit City Council meeting, which I attended for a client on legal business before the Council. While I was waiting for that matter to be heard, the Detroit City Council–only two members of which were in attendance–discussed a contract the City had with Compuware for $11.7 million, a total waste of money since the money went for a useless computer system that was never used.

Detroit: Where the Weak Are Killed & Eaten

The contract with the City’s Buildings Safety, Engineering, and Environmental Department, was only just discovered by Detroit officials because it was under the radar and approved and paid outside of the regular ways the City does business, for reasons that were not clear. The contract for “information technology services” paid Compuware $11.7 million for some kind of computerized database or system that didn’t work and that, because it didn’t work, nobody used. Councilwoman Brenda Jones, who was chairing the meeting, exclaimed repeatedly what an incredible waste of money that was. Sure was.

After I left the ongoing meeting, I ran into former Detroit City Councilman (and police officer) Gary Brown, appointed as a top deputy to Detroit Emergency Manager Kevin Orr. He and Orr are managing Detroit’s bankruptcy and have far more power these days than the City Council. I told Brown he missed the best part of the meeting–the worthless $11.7 Compuware contract. He asked me what it was about, and I filled him in. I concluded by saying, “and you wonder why Detroit is bankrupt.” “Exactly,” he responded.

Exactly, indeed.

And, as I’ve noted, , bankruptcy–and the eventual emergence therefrom–won’t save the City of Detroit from itself and its bankrupt culture and morals.


It’s an interesting coincidence that while I was listening to the City Council dive into the Compuware boondoggle, I was reading the “society” column of The Detroit Newsistan, which gushed over a party for the vanity project coffee book written by Compuware billionaire founder Pete Karmanos’ gold digger wife #3 (or #4–I’ve lost count), “Peter Karmanos: A Life in Progress.” (The book–which no one will buy–has a section on “family,” which I’m sure will not mention the fact that the children in Pete Karmanos family #2 are far younger than their nieces and nephews from Pete Karmanos family #1.) While the rich people of Detroit were living it up over the irrelevant Compuware founder and his “philanthropy,” the company in which he still owns a huge chunk of stock soaked Detroit yet again (the company got huge tax breaks and corporate welfare to move its headquarters to the City).

Karmanos was recently fired from his $600,000 a year do-nothing “consulting” job with Compuware after he attacked the company for catering to shareholders and not the interests of the community. But it seems like both the company and Karmanos are guilty of that.

In any event, the worthless Compuware system is yet another example of the waste that is rife throughout the city–the same waste and corruption that brought the city to its current bankrupt state.

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10 Responses

This article says: “The contract with the City’s Buildings Safety, Engineering, and Environmental Department, was discovered by Detroit officials because it was under the radar and approved and paid outside of the regular ways the City does business, for reasons that were not clear.”

As someone highly experienced in such matters, the reason here is crystal clear: kickbacks, typically paid in cash and dropped off in an envelope. And if those who awarded the contract to Compuware didn’t get at least a 10% kickback, they got less than the norm.

It’s just life in the big city, and by no means limited to Detroit.

Ralph Adamo on October 8, 2013 at 6:08 pm

It would have been better to have a contract to hire more dogcatchers.

Little Al on October 8, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Sounds like a creepy person, affair and book. Karmanos fired his own son from the Hurricanes after 15 tears of working for the team:


DS_ROCKS! on October 8, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Some people and governments never learn. Since this is tax money, the city can put on blinders and act like hey its that magic money that we get at every time of the year and could care less. Not until there is NO MONEY ACTUALLY coming in, these SOBS will continue to do what they know to best-WASTE MONEY. BTW Debbie you once said something about the owner of Compuware got the former pimp mayor Kilpatrick some lucrative job if I remember correctly.

Mario on October 8, 2013 at 7:01 pm

Urban corruption is a normal thing unfortunately. It is news when this sort of thing is actually prosecuted.

worry01 on October 8, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Didn’t Kwame get a job with a Compuware affiliate? Wonder when this deal crept in “under the radar”? Just saying…

Michael LeFavour on October 8, 2013 at 8:23 pm

Hi Debbie,

About a decade ago I was a Sales Engineer for an IT company. I dealt mostly with govt employees but I can say without any reservation that I have NEVER seen open corruption like I did when dealing with people who worked for the city of Detroit.
When we were on the road, a lot of the sales folks from different companies would have drinks and trade stories of how crooked Detroit was. Some examples:

1. Detroit employees wanting you to take them to Windsor and “hook them up” with money to gamble and women.

2. One Detroit city employee point blank said when we were closing a deal “Sounds good and if you give me 10,000 reasons to like this deal then I’ll sign”.

3. Best one of all—-one of the city departments had ancient computers and we came up with a very fair and competitive bid to replace them with the latest gear for $2.1 million. A city councilman got involved and demanded that they have “their consultant” evaluate the deal and see if it “was in the city’s best interests”. The consultant fooled around for 6 months and came back and approved the deal (it was a no brainer).
—BUT the consultant’s “fee” to do the “analysis” was $2.5 million !!!! The city paid the consultant and I’m sure the councilman got his kick back but it blew the department’s budget and they stayed on the ancient computers for 3 more years.

Detroit was rotten from the head down and except for the lower level people like fireman and cops and janitors, I hope the rest of them ALL lose their pensions–the crooked slime.

jimmyPx on October 9, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Queensland,Australia. The Hospital system payroll system needed new software . IBM wrote a program and sold it to Queensland .IBM walked away with hundreds of millions of Dollars .
It has never worked. Some employees,Doctors,Nurses and so on were not paid at all. Some got too much so the computor system refused to pay them too. it has been like this for several years!!.
Latest bill to rectify the faults is over 1 billion dollars.
The previous Labor government under Anna Bligh wrote legislation protecting the politicians and ‘consultants ‘ from investigation and prosecution .
Detroit? Huh! peanuts I say,get over it!.

Aron B on October 9, 2013 at 4:59 pm

The king barry obamadontcare sign up web site was estimated to cost $93 Million. It cost over $630 Million, so far as it is still being “fixed” because it doesn’t work. Their IT guy said the problem was the volume of people are using it, they didn’t think that many people would use it.

ender on October 9, 2013 at 10:59 pm

I was born Detroit back in the middle 40’s, but raised in Dearborn. The reason was I didn’t have undertake the “Black Culture” which has plagued almost all of the city blacks today. I grow up with Germans, italians,Jewishs, Polishs,hungarians,Spanish,Middle Easterns, and so many other different,; but when it came to Blacks it was a different.
It wasn’t they we hated Negros(Blacks) is strongly they didn’t respect for anyone else, it was always what they could screw witty. None, you had the City of Detroit for well over 40 plus years; you ran your City into the ground, and you have the mitgated gall to ask for money, when you Blacks have chased everyone out, largley White business out of the “City” that supported your dumb ass’s. Any yet within 40 plus years you never Market your town, only to steal,Rob, Rape your City. “Shame on you” Please take a good look at yourself and your Culture!

Jon Krill on November 11, 2013 at 6:14 pm

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