Jun 25, 2014 8:46 PM by Eric Ross
Colorado Springs Chief of Staff Steve Cox is defending the City's decision asking council for $2 million to fix its struggling IT department.
The City wanted to take the money budgeted for some capital improvement projects and shift it over to the Internet Technology department. Council members ultimately struck down that plan with a 7-2 vote Tuesday.
Earlier this year, News 5 interviewed Roberta Anderson, one of the City's top information technology employees. Tuesday, we learned Anderson submitted her resignation from the City.
Prior to her departure, Anderson told News 5 there were no problems with the IT department and everything was running smoothly when we inquired about possible security breaches.
"We have no indication of a security breach," Anderson previously told News 5. "I can tell you the city has a very elaborate architecture and qualified individuals to do everything we can to protect citizen data."
Today, the City has a different opinion on their IT department.
"We did an assessment and found that we really need to replace the network and architecture," Chief of Staff Steve Cox said.
We asked Cox about Anderson's previous statements speaking highly of the IT department and its functionality.
"It (her statement) was probably true at the time," Cox said. "As she started looking into it, a problem would pop up and then more problems popped up. We identified that we needed to start from the bottom up and rebuild our network."
The City won't go into specifics about what needs to be done beyond asking for funding for new hardware and software.
We do know claims of a security breach were investigated between January and February of this year. So far, there has been no evidence publicly released that any type of data has been compromised.
However, the City did go on to say their current network is approaching its end of life cycle and is in need of repairs. Money isn't the only problem in the IT department. Over the past six months, several IT employees were placed on administrative leave and ultimately parted ways.
"There's always going to be a certain amount of turnover in any organization," Cox said.
While the exact cause of their departures are kept confidential, Cox says in part, it has to do with the City outsourcing jobs and cutting back expenses. Still, he says in order for the IT network to remain secure and effective, it needs money to begin a "replacement" phase.
Council members are skeptical and feel they are not being provided the entire story.
"It appears there is a complete lack of leadership," council member Jill Gaebler said. "I struggle to understand how they can use that funding ($2 million) for the best possible outcome at this point."
Cox says he plans to address concerns with council members later this week.
He also plans to put the funding proposal back on the agenda at a later date.
News 5 will continue to track this developing story and bring you any new information as it becomes available.