New York City

Samson latest New York IT official to depart

The chief information officer cited health reasons for his decision to leave.

Empire State Plaza and the New York State Capitol at twilight.

Empire State Plaza and the New York State Capitol at twilight. Shutterstock

Robert Samson, chief information officer at New York’s Office of Information Technology Services, is leaving his post. The news, first reported by Government Technology earlier this month, comes two months after New York City Chief Information Officer Samir Saini’s announced departure from his position amid increased scrutiny and controversies at the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, including a crash of the city’s wireless network in April.

Samson cited health reasons for his decision to leave, but as the Times Union reported on Friday, the state’s Office of Information Technology Services has also been under scrutiny since Samson first took on the role in May 2017. The state Inspector General’s Office has probed the agency for allegedly wasteful spending, though no findings have been publicly announced. One of the complaints at the time seemed to reflect a reliance on outdated technology: the office allegedly spent millions of dollars on outmoded mainframe computers to store data despite the rise of cloud-based data storage. Another complaint centered on the agency’s structure, alleging that upper management had ballooned from two to five layers. 

Samson officially leaves office on Aug. 15; ITS has yet to announce an interim or permanent replacement. ITS did not immediately respond to a request for comment on who will replace Samson.

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