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Source of Title - reprinted with permission

3/8/2006

Gary Ott, the Salt Lake County recorder, and his office are being investigated following allegations that the county office and a software developer entered into an illegal agreement to image the county's various documents.

Sean Thomas, the county auditor, launched the investigation on March 3, 2006. His team was directed to investigate all transactions over the past decade between the recorder and software company Sire Technologies Inc., formerly known as AlphaCorp, according to an article in The Salt Lake Tribune. 

County officials are questioning whether the arrangement between AlphaCorp and the county is legitimate and are questioning the amount of payments that have been made to the software company. The arrangement between the two entities was apparently never legitimately bid out to vendors, according to county officials. 

"How and the heck did this get through?" said Jim Hatch, a councilman, during a meeting in February.  "There is no signature of approval from the (District) Attorney's Office. I'm wondering if we, as a council, really did budget for this." 

To learn more, please read "Salt Lake County, Utah to Electronically Record its Documents."

Ott has defended his actions and said that all of the arrangements that have been made were legitimate.   

"I've always followed rules as they are in place at the time," he added. "I'm quite fiscally conservative. I'm frugal with (the county's) money." 

However, county officials indicate that the arrangements with the AlphaCorp resemble a "tree-trunk" contract - one with various limbs, but no actual rooted contract. Additionally, the chief programmer for AlphaCorp is Dustin Butler, the son of County Surveyor Vaughn Butler and a former worker in the recorder's office. Yet, any kind of personal relationship or favoritism has been denied by Ott.  

"It's just ridiculous," said Ott. "I'm not related to him, and he was gone before I got here. No way is this anything but good business. I don't think I'm smart enough to be sneaky." 

© 2006, Source of Title

Source of Title launched in September 2002 as a directory to help title industry professionals locate independent settlement service providers. Since then, Source of Title has added forums and full-service news content targeted at industry professionals.

For additional information on Source of Title, or to learn about advertising opportunities, visit www.sourceoftitle.com.

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