2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

More trouble in city’s IT department, director put on paid leave

Published: April 16, 2014, 11:02 pm, by Monica Mendoza

Colorado Springs Information Technology director Joe Palmer has been placed on paid leave by the city, the city’s Chief of Staff Steve Cox said Wednesday.

It leaves the department without a director and without a deputy director.

Cox would not say why the director was “asked to take a few days off.” Palmer, who has been on the job for one year and four months, reports directly to Cox.

 Mayor Steve Bach said Wednesday that it was a personnel issue and he could not discuss the details.

The IT department has been in turmoil for months. In October during the budget season, Palmer announced that nine positions in the department would be outsourced.

Then in January, 10 IT employees were placed on paid administrative leave and eventually asked to take “reduction in force packages.” The city’s former chief of staff Laura Neaumann said at the time that the  city was investigating a potential security incident.

An internal investigation was launched into the IT department Jan. 27. In mid-February, the investigation showed there was no breach of city data, Neumann said.

Shortly after the investigation, the city’s deputy chief of information officer Jesse James was put on paid leave and then asked to take a reduction in force package.

Cox said all the packages for the 10 IT employees have been signed and completed. A job posting for James former job has been posted on the city’s website.

Cox said Palmer’s leave is not related to that January incident or investigation. He said he hopes to have the issue with Palmer resolved by Friday.