Calif. state employee charged in Oracle matter

The policy director for former California Gov. Gray Davis is the only person facing charges in connection with the state's ill-fated enterprise licensing agreement with Oracle Corp.

Following a 22-month investigation into the deal, California Attorney General Bill Lockyer said this week that the state will not bring charges at this time against other senior members of Davis' administration or any executives from Oracle Corp. of Redwood Shores, Calif.

The state plans to move forward immediately with a 12-count felony complaint against Kari Dohn, Davis' former policy director, on the grounds that she altered documents related to the Oracle enterprise licensing agreement, Lockyer said.

Dohn was arraigned in Sacramento Superior Court this week, but did not enter a plea. If convicted, she could be sentenced to up to four years in prison.

"Our investigation has been exhaustive, but these are the only criminal violations we have discovered relating to the ELA," Lockyer said, adding that the investigation will remain open in case new evidence surfaces.

The attorney general's complaint alleges that Dohn made six separate modifications to her computerized schedule and internal progress reports after the Joint Legislative Audit Committee launched an investigation into the agreement. The records Dohn allegedly falsified related to the enterprise licensing agreement negotiations and subsequent approval.

Since the modifications violate separate government and penal codes, Dohn will be charged with 12 counts, Lockyer said. Dohn testified before the joint legislative audit committee May 6, 2002.

Lockyer's criminal complaint results from a lengthy investigation of the Davis administration's decision to sign a $95 million enterprise licensing agreement for Oracle software in May 2001. Oracle agreed to rescind the deal in July 2002.

After the release of a highly critical report by the California State Auditor in April 2002, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee initiated hearings, and the attorney general's office started its own investigation.

The state auditor's report and subsequent committee hearings determined senior Davis administration officials approved the agreement without conducting an independent analysis of the need for or benefits of the contract.

Subsequently, the committee received from the governor's office documents related to the agreement. Eleven separate state agencies, including the governor's office, provided enterprise licensing agreement-related documents and materials to the attorney general's office.

The state auditor's report triggered a rash of resignations and suspensions, as well as the sunset of the Department of Information Technology. Among those who resigned were Department of General Services Director Barry Keane, State Chief Information Officer Elias Cortez and State E-government Director Arun Baheti.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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