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Maricopa County CIO Ed Winfield Set to Retire in March

Maricopa County, Ariz., CIO Ed Winfield is set to retire in early March, leaving CISO Lester Godsey to take over in a temporary capacity. The selection of a permanent replacement hinges on the county finding its next manager.

Ed Winfield.
David Kidd/Government Technology
Top IT officials in Maricopa County are shuffling seats as CIO Ed Winfield approaches an early March retirement.

Winfield isn’t the only one departing — County Manager Joy Rich will retire on April 7. Maricopa is leaving it to the next county manager to choose the next CIO, Communications Director Fields Moseley confirmed to Government Technology.

Winfield is set to leave office on March 2, at which point CISO Lester Godsey will become the acting CIO. Godsey will not wear two hats, and instead will temporarily pass on the role of CISO to Seema Patel, who is currently the assistant CISO and director of Information Security Assurance.

Maricopa’s Board of Supervisors is working to identify a new county manager, and accepted candidates’ applications from late January through Feb. 13. There is currently no set deadline for making its selection, but if a selection is not made by the time Rich leaves, an interim county manager will be appointed.

Godsey posted about his upcoming new appointment on LinkedIn: “I want to thank management for the opportunity to help the county on a more enterprise level,” he wrote.

This isn’t the only career news from Godsey.

“I am getting closer to the end of my public sector career,” Godsey wrote in a LinkedIn post a few days prior. “I still have a bit of time so I am not going anywhere too soon … but I have been talking about starting a consulting business.”

He said he will be providing cybersecurity and technology planning, IT management and related consultancy on a part-time basis. To avoid conflicts of interest, he will not be working with clients that either do business with the county or intend to.

Moseley noted that the county has policies in place that “allow for external work efforts and outline the appropriate guidelines regarding the separation of those efforts with county responsibilities.”

“The timing of the search for a new CIO and Mr. Godsey announcing his other endeavors is coincidental and has nothing to do with the current leadership changes,” he added.

Winfield joined Maricopa in 2017, coming from Michigan where he had been CIO of Wayne County.

Godsey, meanwhile, became CISO in 2019 and has worked to defend the county as mis- and disinformation raised threats of election-related violence.
Jule Pattison-Gordon is a staff writer for Government Technology. She previously wrote for PYMNTS and The Bay State Banner, and holds a B.A. in creative writing from Carnegie Mellon. She’s based outside Boston.