FBI subpoenas Orange County during probe into no-bid contract for top official’s relative

Originally published in News12 Westchester on .

The FBI has now subpoenaed Orange County as part of an investigation into a controversial contract for the relative of a high-ranking county official, News 12 has learned. 

The six-figure paper trail first revealed in October by Sen. James Skoufis has been a disaster for Orange County since the state official said an investigation by his office uncovered a “deeply unethical, allegedly criminal web of lies, deceit and corruption.”

Orange County Attorney Richard Golden confirms to News 12 the county recently received a subpoena request by the FBI for documents that were addressed directly to him, not any county official or employee. 

“The FBI served a subpoena for documents related to the County’s contract with StarCIO. It was directed to the County generally, to the attention of the County Attorney,” said Golden. “No individual in the County was served with a subpoena {and we} will fully comply with the subpoena’s request for documents.”

The federal probe is tied to a no-bid, low-show IT contract for the brother-in-law of Langdon Chapman, the county executive’s so-called right-hand man and director of human resources.

The county’s attorney has said from the start that nothing illegal was done by contracting for services with Chapman’s relative and his company StarCIO, since state law only requires contracts more than $100,000 to go to bid. 

StarCIO’s contracts were less but autorenewed multiple times in 2023, totaling roughly $800,000, according to documents obtained by News 12 in a FOIL request. 

“The real issue is what will the feds find with those subpoenas that weren’t made public,” says Trunfio. 

The FBI declined to comment on the investigation. 

A legislative committee tasked with investigating the contract is expected to reveal its findings by the end of the month. A county team, led by Neuhaus, is also reviewing the county’s current procurement policy to consider suggesting changes.

Skoufis issued a statement this afternoon that said, "Make no mistake: this is the biggest scandal in Orange County government's recent history. I am thankful for the FBI's involvement on behalf of my constituents."