Valentine responded to the allegations in a Nov. 26 letter, sent to an attorney in the purchasing division. In the letter, he states Pearson Vue never listed Dickens as an employee. He points to a part of the proposal that states Pearson Vue intends to subcontract with Consultants International, but maintains the proposal "does not state or imply" that Dickens or his company were under contract with Pearson Vue.
At least twice, Pearson Vue's proposal states its intent to subcontract with Dickens. It also explicitly refers to its "subcontractor, Consultants International" 10 times.
In a Dec. 5 letter from Rosen to Tincher, Rosen denies that PHD's claim is valid. PHD alleged Pearson Vue failed the mandatory requirement of providing employee resumes, qualifications and tasks that person would perform, as stated in Rosen's letter. This is a pass or fail measure, and Pearson Vue passed because it included the proper information for Dickens, Rosen writes.
"The (bid) evaluation committee determined that Pearson Vue included the resumes of their key staff and that Ben Dickens, Ed. D was properly identified as a contractor," Rosen writes.
He also denied Cihy's other claims that Pearson Vue did not meet testing requirements concerning the method in which the tests would be administered. Tincher sent Valentine a letter the next day that stated his company could resume any work it had been doing under this contract.
Rosen is also involved in legal allegations, filed by the DHHR's top two attorneys, alleging improper contract actions.
In whistleblower lawsuits filed by Susan Perry, DHHR's deputy secretary for legal affairs, and Jennifer Taylor, its general counsel, the two accuse Rosen and others in the agency of having a "track record of errors," according to Daily Mail records.
The lawsuit alleges Rosen bungled a $200 million computer contract, rebid once for unknown problems and a second time because of a conflict of interest. Rosen and his boss, Warren Keefer, "so mishandled" those first two bids that Taylor and Perry had to spend hours responding to requests from the Legislative Auditor's Office and fixing a third bid request document so that problems didn't occur yet again, according to lawsuits and Daily Mail records.
The whistleblower lawsuits are in connection to a different contract as well, a massive marketing contract that led to Taylor, Perry and John Law, a DHHR public relations employee, being placed on paid-leave since mid-July.
The request for bids in the nurse assistant training contract states the agreement is an "open end" contract with an estimated value of $200,000. However, it also states the DHHR will not pay anything for the service. The company awarded the contract should collect money from those taking the testing or training through fees, the request states.
Pearson Vue's bid amount for the cost of administering the tests and training was $260,930. PHD's was $245,800.
Diane Holley-Brown, purchasing division spokeswoman, declined to answer questions as to why a contract that involves no state money needs to go through a bidding process. She said she could not comment because of the pending litigation.
Marsha Dadisman, DHHR spokeswoman, said the same thing. A call placed to a phone number listed in bidding documentation for Vincent of Pearson's Vue was answered by another person, who directed a Daily Mail reporter to call the company's corporate office. A message was not returned.
Denise Cihy said Sunday her attorney had heard from an attorney with the purchasing division Friday. The attorney said the division is going to "proceed cautiously" and temporarily halt all work being done by Pearson Vue under this contract, according to an email the Cihy's received from their attorney. Denise Cihy said this would not affect her decision to bring the lawsuit.
PHD is asking the Kanawha Circuit Court to prevent Pearson Vue from performing any work under the contract. The purchasing department said PHD and the third company that bid failed to meet all of the mandatory requirements of the bid.
PHD wants the judge to determine that no company met all the bid requirements and prevent Pearson Vue from applying again because it's original proposal contained false information concerning Dicken's employment.
The lawsuit was posted to Circuit Judge Charles King, said a member of the court office. Tincher has 20 days to respond to the lawsuit from the day it is filed, and had not done so as of Friday morning.