Lawsuit claims body cam contract selection was illegal

FILE - Body cam (KXAN File Photo)
FILE - Body cam (KXAN File Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A lawsuit filed by a police body cam contractor against the city alleges Austin’s selection of Taser International was part of an illegal bidding process.

Utility Associates, Inc., which was competing with Taser for the contract, filed the lawsuit Monday.

The company accuses the city and City Manager Marc Ott of a non-competitive bidding process. Utility says their bid was $3 million less than Taser’s bid and met all the technical requirements.

The city says they have yet to receive the lawsuit.

Last week, Utility spokesperson Ted Davis challenged TASER to a head-to-head competition to test the facial redaction technology of each system (related to the public release of video).

“Utility offered and would have far preferred to resolve this matter with a simple test of the systems… No for-profit company on the planet would spend $17 million and forgo substantive and competitive testing. Austin’s decision to move forward with Taser having no head-to-head evaluation is unconscionable to me on many levels,” Davis wrote in an email.

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