Mayor looking for new Baltimore information technology director, latest in a series

Mayor Catherine Pugh says she is looking for a new information technology officer, who would be the fourth person to run the office in three years.

Evette Munro, who has been acting director of the Mayor’s Office of Information Technology since February, “is no longer an employee of Baltimore City,” according to the administration. Pugh said she is conducting a national search for a replacement.

“We need people who think out of the box,” Pugh said Wednesday. “We need forward-thinking people, who understand the importance of different platforms. This city is so far behind technology advancement. … This department needs to be scrubbed.”

Munro earned an annual salary of about $145,000. Martin Okumu is serving as acting director of the office, which includes 110 full-time employees and 56 contractors.

The former director, L. Jerome Mullen, resigned in February after holding the position since June 2014. Pugh declined to offer details about Mullen’s reason for resigning because it was a personnel matter.

The departures present the latest turmoil for the office.

Former director Christopher Tonjes left the agency in June 2014 amid an investigation by the city's inspector general over allegations that the department paid contractual employees for work they might not have performed. Tonjes was never found to be involved in any misconduct and steadfastly denied any wrongdoing.

In 2012, Rico J. Singleton resigned the post after it was revealed that he had negotiated jobs for himself and his girlfriend while working for the New York information technology office.

Pugh said she wants to reimagine the role of information technology in the city by working with outside companies to bring in the latest platforms and build public-private partnerships.

She did not expand on the role private companies could play or on what projects the city should take on.

“We have got to change the way we’re doing business,” Pugh said. “We have a tendency to do the same old thing, the same old way. Obviously, some of the same old things we’ve been doing the same old way aren’t working.”

Pugh said she has received a handful of applications for the job. She did not set a timetable for hiring a new director.

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