August 18, 2008 By Andy Opsahl
Pete Collins, CIO of Austin, Texas, resigned last week while under administrative review of accusations he used city property for personal use. The city refuses to specify what city property Collins was accused of using improperly. His exit on Aug. 13 closes the investigation.
Collins had been on paid administrative leave since the accusations were made in June. The Travis County District Attorney's Office announced in July it would not pursue a criminal investigation, but a city administrative review moved forward.
"The resignation allows the city to move forward on vital technology projects without the uncertainty for employees of what will happen next," City Manager Marc Ott said in a statement.
Collins' separation agreement forbids him from making public statements about the details of his departure. He will receive $65,743.47 -- the value of accrued vacation leave and three months of base salary. His annual salary was $154,315, according to David Matustik, acting communications and public information officer for Austin. As a former police officer, Collins is still eligible for benefits from the Austin Police Retirement System and the City of Austin Employees' Retirement System.
Linda Pounds-Adams, a deputy CIO for the city, will continue as Austin's acting CIO until the city finds a permanent replacement. She took Collins' place temporarily when the accusations surfaced in June. The Communications and Technology Management Office, which Collins ran, has approximately 300 employees and is responsible for technology maintenance, purchases and applications for city departments and telephone-related operations.
Collins joined the Austin Police Department in the 1990s as a cadet and ultimately became involved in a series of IT projects. He became Austin's CIO in 2003. At the time of his suspension, Collins chaired the Texas Radio Coalition, an organization working to implement statewide radio interoperability. In January, he was named Texas CIO of the Year at the Government Technology Conference Southwest in Austin.
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