S.D. 911 panel decides to sue companies

Capitol News Bureau
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PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — State government prepared to file a civil lawsuit Friday against several companies that have been involved for years in South Dakota’s “next generation” 911 project.

They include NextGen Communications Inc., a subsidiary of parent company TeleCommunication Systems Inc., based in Annapolis, Maryland, and Comtech Communications Corp. of Delaware, according to Tony Mangan, spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety.

The state 911 Coordination Board met by teleconference Friday morning to discuss the matter. After a 30-minute closed session, board members re-opened the meeting to the public and voted 9-0 to proceed with the lawsuit.

Pierre Mayor Steve Harding is a board member. He spoke in favor of the lawsuit.

“This is a complicated contract,” Harding told other board members on the call. He noted payments had already been cut in half since April. “I think it’s in the best interest of the state,” he said.

The suit was to be filed in Hughes County Circuit Court, according to Mangan.

The 911 board decided in June to contract with CenturyLink. The NextGen contract was set to expire later this year.

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