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

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.
County Executive Steve Neuhaus testified before a special legislative committee tasked with reviewing the contract last month and stated that he questioned the contract before it was flagged by several county legislators and leaked to Skoufis. 
News 12 spoke to former upstate prosecutor and Syracuse Law professor Rick Trunfio for insight into the case on Thursday. Trunfio says the FBI investigation will be thorough. 
“If the feds are involved, my suspicion is there’s federal money involved. What may not be a crime on the state level may be a crime on a federal level,” says Trunfio. “The feds are notorious for long, deep investigations, and my guess is that they’re going to look into the whole procurement system in Orange County.” 
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."