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Georgia DoD worker made $400K in side business on state time
A 27-year employee at the Georgia Department of Defense had enough free time to run a side business that grossed nearly $400,000 in less than nine months, the state inspector general said today.
Until he was fired in January, Thomas Quarterman was earning about $55,000 a year as an engineering services manager for the Georgia Army Guard. But, as founder of Premise Technical Services LLC, Quarterman billed a private vendor for $399,277 for services rendered in 2008 and 2009, Inspector General Elizabeth Archer said in a report released today.
Although Quarterman maintains that he disclosed his secondary employment to the department, the facts indicate otherwise. His failure to seek prior approval and his providing a false start date on the secondary employment form shows a clear attempt on his part to conceal his active business. His misuse of state resources was a clear violation of state policy. The fact that Quarterman was able to gross approximately $400,000 within six months for his private business using state resources is egregious and unacceptable.
Premise was a subcontractor for System Plus Inc. of Rockville, Md., which oversees work at National Guard installations nationwide under a contract with the federal National Guard Bureau. Investigators found numerous e-mails on Quarterman’s state-issued computer to employees of both Systems Plus and Premise, many sent during core business hours, the IG said. Other evidence found on the computer included
task orders, descriptions of work to be performed, funding codes, amounts, names of personnel employed by Premise, travel information, and associated faxes. The evidence revealed that this was not work relating to his state job, but rather, work performed on state time for personal gain tied to his private business.
Quarterman’s boss at the Georgia Department of Defense had previously reprimanded him for working an unauthorized secondary job. His subsequent request for approval was rejected because of that reprimand and other red flags, including listing his own cellphone number as his employer’s.
Investigators said another former boss, now working for Systems Plus, told them he had seen Quarterman at a meeting in Maryland:
It was his understanding that Quarterman “lines up” consultants to do Systems Plus contract work for the National Guard Bureau. Based on his professional knowledge, he opined that “The paper end of subcontracting/contracting agreements and governmental administration is very timeconsuming.” He spoke of how time-intensive it is to align travel, job requirements, staffing, complete task orders, invoices, etc., and stated that he certainly hoped Quarterman was not engaging in such activity using his state time and equipment.
The inspector general said she was forwarding her report to Attorney General Thurbert Baker’s office for whatever action he deemed appropriate.