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Neuhaus Names Interim IT Officer, Keeps Consulting Firm On For Now

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

Goshen – Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus has named Deputy County Executive Harry Porr as interim chief information officer for the Department of Information Technology Services.

The IT function is presently within the county’s general services department but will be separated into a new department effective in January.

Since the lawmakers voted earlier this year to separate the two functions in 2024, a consultant, StarCIO, has been retained with a no-bid contract that has been extended monthly with a total of $800,000.

Neuhaus said that the company will be kept on the job for the time being.

“Right now, we need to keep contractors because we don’t have enough staff to come and do that job. Once we have an actual IT commissioner, or chief information officer, then we will be able to cut our ties with a lot of these contracts, including that one,” he said.

Neuhaus’ executive order appointing Porr to the interim IT officer role, cited “the urgency of establishing a functioning Department of Information Services.”

He expected to name a commissioner for the new department in the next week or two.

“After what was supposed to be an eight-week contract for a fractional Chief Information Officer that has turned into an 11-month $800,000 no-bid deal, that was not disclosed to the legislature or the public – it is suddenly now of the utmost importance and urgency to appoint another interim Chief Information Officer and expedite the hiring process. We no oddly have two interim CIO’s in the county one of which has been getting paid exorbitantly since January further reiterating the questionable nature of the StarCIO contract,” said County Legislator Genesis Ramos who was one of the lawmakers who brought the issue to State Senator James Skoufis (D, Cornwall) who has called for an investigation by the State Attorney General and FBI.

Last Thursday, the county legislature voted to establish a special task force to look into what Chairwoman Katie Bonelli called very serious allegations of impropriety by top county officials.

Source: Mid Hudson News

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