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Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Names Interim CTO Amid Corruption Probe

As CTO, Andy Molls inherits the supervision of a $25 million ERP project, as well as a key role in an IT department under scrutiny by state prosecutors for conflicts of interest, mishandled money and other allegations.

by / April 30, 2019
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Cuyahoga County, Ohio, has named Andy Molls, also the county’s administrator of infrastructure and operations, as interim chief technology officer amid an ongoing corruption investigation of the county government by state authorities.

According to a news release from the county, Molls was appointed to fill the role in an interim capacity on April 26, the day former CTO Michael Young’s resignation went into effect.

A graduate of the University of Kentucky with a bachelor’s degree in communications, Molls has more than two decades of experience in IT roles in both the private and public sector. According to the news release and his LinkedIn profile, he has been an IT manager at Eaton Corp. and Realty One, a telecommunications manager for Cuyahoga County, a telecommunications manager for Kent State University and the director of information services and business intelligence at the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office. He is now responsible for all aspects of the county’s IT infrastructure, including network, telephony, Internet and data center operations.

Molls is stepping into the role at a complicated time for Cuyahoga County, a jurisdiction of more than 1.2 million people which is undergoing a $25 million overhaul of its IT systems — enterprise resource planning, specifically — as well as an investigation by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

Neither Molls nor the county responded to requests for comment before deadline.

According to Cleveland.com, Cuyahoga County’s IT department has been in turmoil amid an investigation into the alleged mishandling of a $300,000 grant, conflicts of interest related to the ERP project and the department’s subsequent refusal to give the county inspector general access to employee emails. Cleveland.com has reported that former Deputy CIO James Hay resigned in October 2018 after being mentioned in several subpoenas and asked to repay a $15,000 bonus; the IT department’s general counsel Emily McNeeley resigned in January, a few weeks before a grand jury indicted her on 17 corruption-related charges; and former IT Director Scot Rourke was placed on paid administrative leave in February after being named in the same grand jury subpoena.

Cleveland.com also reported that former CTO Michael Young didn’t specify a reason for resigning last week, although a county spokeswoman told them it was for “personal reasons.” Young was identified last year as the person in charge of the ERP project by former Chief of Staff Earl Leiken, who stepped down in January for health reasons.

In a hearing last month, according to Cleveland.com, county council members accused Young of resisting council’s call for a different project manager because he didn’t want someone overseeing his own work. The website also reported that the ERP project was approved in 2016, was originally supposed to be complete by January 2018, and is now expected to wrap up in December 2019.

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