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Special Master Appointed to Investigate UHIP Is Donor to Raimondo and Ousted Roberts

Saturday, November 04, 2017

 

Deming Sherman, gave more than $5,000 to Raimondo and Roberts

Deming Sherman, who was appointed Special Master by federal Court Judge Will Smith to oversee the failed UHIP, is a political donor to both Governor Gina Raimondo and former overseer of UHIP Elizabeth Roberts.

The former managing partner of Providence law firm Locke Lord (formerly Edwards & Angel), Sherman donated nine times to Roberts for a total of $3,100 when she was a candidate and served as RI’s Lt. Governor.

Roberts was forced to resign in February by Raimondo as a result of the bungled launch of UHIP.

In addition to the political donations to Roberts, Sherman gave repeatedly to Raimondo —  eleven donations totaling $2,190.

Sherman says there is no conflict and says he will be impartial in the effort. “Absolutely not.  My duty is to the Court, not the parties. I have had disagreements with the Governor [Raimondo] before.  And I have contributed to the ACLU from time to time as well,” said Sherman.

"My role is to determine a short-term and a long-term solution to compliance with an existing Order, and that’s what I intend to do,” he said.

Jonathan Savage of the law firm Shechtman Halperin Savage, who is an experienced court-appointed receivers, says that Sherman is beyond reproach.

“Deming has the highest level of integrity,” said Savage. “He will do an outstanding job and I welcome that he is taking on the difficult role.”

Governor Gina Raimondo

Raimondo and Roberts

Roberts resigned in early February after the UHIP backlog spiked and the system was near collapse.

A few days later In February, at a conciliatory press conference, Raimondo apologized to Rhode Islanders and state employees for the failed system UHIP technology infrastructure and for the delay in action in correcting the problems.

Both Raimondo and top aide Eric Beane have said repeatedly that the near $300 million technology is deeply flawed and it may take up to a year to correct it. “The system isn’t working” was one of the mantras of the press conference.

READ THE FULL REPORT BELOW

When repeatedly asked who is to blame, Raimondo said both the Rhode Island’s Chief Technology Officer Thom Guertin and the contractor Deloitte repeatedly assured her that the system was ready to go. Raimondo said during the February press conference that she asked her team, “Are you sure this is ready” and that each time she was assured that the technology was ready to go live.

Roberts (R) testifying before a House Committee

As part of the press conference, Raimondo released a "complete and comprehensive analysis that details the challenges and missteps surrounding the launch of Rhode Island’s new health and human services eligibility software system."

"The challenges we've faced with UHIP have caused real, meaningful, and unacceptable hardship for many Rhode Islanders. If I had known in September what I know now, I would have never let this project go forward. What's clear now is that our vendor and our agencies needed more time, more people, and more training before we turned this system on. I'm holding Deloitte accountable for failing to deliver and have taken steps to fix the system as quickly as possible. The problems with the system are not intractable, and there is a path forward. Still, the system won't be fixed overnight, and we will continue to make steady, meaningful progress over the next 12 to 18 months,” said Raimondo. 

 

UHIP Assessment Report to Governor Raimondo

 

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