Office Depot has earned a reputation in recent years for screwing over local governments. San Francisco got $4.25 million to settle claims that it overcharged for office supplies. Maricopa County claims $5.3 million in overbilling. Houston is demanding $6.6 million.
All because a disgruntled corporate employee in Florida got himself fired with a drunken email, then filed a lawsuit claiming his former company was systemically overcharging local governments.
No telling why it took the city of Dallas so long to give its Office Depot contract a thorough examination (Dallas County did one in 2011, and it was included in the city's audit plan for the same year), but the results are finally in.
According to an report released today by City Auditor Craig Kinton, Dallas overpaid for office supplies between January 2006 and August 2010.
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"The minimum amount of overcharges appears to be $1.3 million based on a comparison of the prices paid by the City to the contracted prices," it says. "The amount of overcharges could be $3.6 million or higher based upon the 'Most Favored Public Entity' clause in the contract."
The audit also says the company failed to pay $124,447 in rebates for purchases made between June 1, 2008 and December 31, 2010.
Office Depot denies this, as it has in other cases, meaning Dallas isn't going to get its cash as easily as San Francisco did.
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.