Then-Brevard County Clerk of Courts Mitch Needelman and associate Matt Dupree participated in an elaborate scheme to deliver an $8.52 million document-scanning contract to a Melbourne company that might not have been qualified to receive it, newly released documents indicate.
The 179 pages of documents released Tuesday by the State Attorney’s Office include summaries of interviews by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement with key figures in the case, as well summaries of financial records prosecutors plan to use as evidence..
Needelman, Dupree and BlueWare Chief Executive Officer Ross Harr face multiple felony charges in the case. A key allegation is that Needelman steered the contract to scan millions of pages of court documents to BlueWare in return for illegal campaign contributions to his unsuccessful 2012 re-election campaign.
In interviews with FDLE, Dupree said BlueWare paid him $5,000 a month “in exchange for making introductions to local officials and help BlueWare relocate to Brevard County.” Ultimately, Dupree said he received $130,000 to $140,000, including a one-time payment of $90,000.
Dupree said he helped introduce BlueWare to Needelman and his staff, as well as to officials of the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast.
The economic development agency later helped BlueWare in the process of qualifying for about $1.8 million in state, county and Melbourne incentives for locating in Melbourne, and its promise to add 190 jobs. The company never received those incentives because it did not meet its job-creation and capital-investment goals.
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