B-Three Solutions To File Civil Action Against Pittsburgh Police Officer in Whistleblower Case After Accepting City Contract Extension
PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA, March 27, 2018 – Despite recent allegations made against B-Three Solutions by Pittsburgh Police Officer Souroth Chatterji, the small software consulting firm and longtime IT contractor for the City of Pittsburgh cites safety of the Pittsburgh Police Department and community as their primary reason for accepting a two-year contract extension with the City this week.
On March 27, 2018, the Pittsburgh City Council unanimously voted to approve a two-year contract extension with B-Three Solutions. The offer came after the tech company endured weeks of negative media coverage and false claims of misconduct due to a sub-par IT evaluation performed by Officer Chatterji.
B-Three Solutions President, Michael Walton, said that the comments made to the media from City officials based solely upon Officer Chatterji’s allegations were “shocking, hurtful, and very damaging.”
“We’ve been in a 12-year partnership with the City of Pittsburgh and these news stories surrounding Officer Chatterji’s baseless allegations were the first we’ve heard that the Peduto administration was unsatisfied with our services,” Walton said.
“Over the course of our relationship with the City, we’ve donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in the form of uncompensated time working on projects to benefit City offices. We’ve made our resources available free of charge for emergency assistance over nights, weekends and even holidays. We’ve even received accolades for our work on City Police applications. To hear these allegations, and then to hear Mayor Peduto suggest that we’re nothing more than a “die-on-the-vine” commodity, through a news story nonetheless, was really upsetting.”
The negative claims derived from Officer Chatterji’s “study” regarding application functionality and installation were made without a sufficient background, knowledge or understanding of the surrounding facts.
“We see these allegations from a patrol officer who has never come to us to discuss his concerns; who’s never requested so much as a demo of any of the software solutions included in his “study.” Yet, his conclusions are being circulated to the public as “fact” when they’re anything but.” Walton said.
A prime example of these false accusations is the suggestion that B-Three accepted payment for three modules in the Automated Police Reports System (APRS) and failed to deliver the finished products. If Officer Chatterji had conducted a thorough investigation, he would have discovered that B-Three completed development on each of these modules and had them installed on City PCs for testing and training. It was Former Chief McLay, the man who Officer Chatterji claims ordered him to investigate the City’s relationship with B-Three, who halted module installation just prior to the scheduled production deployment in 2015.
“Officer Chatterji made blind, uniformed allegations without putting forth the effort to first discover all of the facts,” said Walton. “Being subjected to the ensuing negative media coverage and comments from City officials was like a sucker punch straight to the gut.”
In spite of the fact that the City contract is one of B-Three’s least profitable, their responsibility to extend the services remains, claiming the safety of the Pittsburgh community and Bureau of Police as a priority.
“B-Three makes up less than 3% of the City’s IT budget, yet we maintain approximately a quarter of their software applications. Our rates and services are quite a bargain when you see Council regularly approving single pieces of software from other providers for multi-millions,” said Walton.
“Our reputation was unfairly and recklessly hurt by this whole situation. As such, we seriously contemplated terminating our relationship with the City. However, we know if we walk away the City will have 45 unmanned applications; many of which involve public safety. We have a moral obligation to stay on and guarantee that these modules remain up and running, even if we’re not a part of the Mayor’s long-term vision,” said Walton.
“We’re from Pittsburgh. It’s a source of pride for us to play a role in keeping our hometown safe by maintaining these systems.”
B-Three has retained trial lawyer Komron Jon Maknoon of the law firm of Maknoon & Associates, LLC. who intends to file a lawsuit against Officer Chatterji within the next week.
Walton states, “This guy needs to realize that we’re not just going to sit back and be a stepping stone on his path to an attempted payout from the City. His allegations have hurt our business, are completely untrue, and we have the facts to prove it. We are very interested in hearing Officer Chatterji attempt to explain how he came to these outrageous and false conclusions when we meet him in court.”
All inquiries from the press can be directed to B-Three’s attorney:
Komron Jon Maknoon
Maknoon & Associates, LLC.