George Sheldon, a former Florida deputy attorney general who lost his bid to unseat Pam Bondi in the 2014 election, has been in the news this year.
In 2015, Sheldon took the job as head of Illinois' Department of Children and Family Services, an agency that had been rocked by reports of botched investigations into child deaths and overworked investigators.
But Sheldon resigned in June amid what the Chicago Tribune said was a "series of recent child deaths and scandalous headlines", as well as an ethics probe.
The Tribune reported that one of this first official acts after arriving in February 2015 was that Sheldon "hired a Florida technology company that subcontracted with Christopher Pantaleon, who co-owns a Tallahassee rental home with Sheldon."
Under Sheldon, according to the Tribune: "DCFS gave Florida firm Five Points Technology Group $811,000 worth of consulting contracts that paid Sheldon's former campaign worker and aide Christopher Pantaleon at least $30,000 as a subcontractor…Sheldon and Pantaleon had owned two Florida homes together, land records show, and Pantaleon had worked for Sheldon's political campaign and served as his Florida Department of Children and Families spokesman, among other connectsions, records show. "
Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner tapped Beverly "BJ" Walker to replace Sheldon. Walker has been no fan of Sheldon's other no-bid contracts. Walker announced in today's Chicago Tribune that the DCF was stopping a "high-profile program that used data mining to identify children at risk for serious injury or death" because Walker deemed them too unreliable.
Two Florida firms — the nonprofit Eckerd Connects and its for-profit partner, Mindshare Technology — were the companies that were awarded the $366,000 Rapid Safety Feedback program, again, with no bids.