Appeal Capitol Bureau
March 25, 2006
The Department of Information Technology's chief of security is on
administrative leave pending an investigation of a trip he took on
state business to Denver, Colo.
Randy Potts has gone to a number of meetings to deal with
cyber-security and homeland security issues in his position charged
with protecting the security of state computer systems. The trip was
authorized by Terry Savage, head of the department.
His reimbursement claim dated Dec. 27, 2005, states he was in Denver
"for Homeland Security meeting" from Nov. 28 until Dec. 2, 2005. Potts
requested $994.80 in expenses plus $762.39 for airfare - a total of
$1,757.19. The payment was authorized by Savage on Jan. 31 this year.
But questions have been raised as to whether there was a homeland
security meeting in Denver on those dates.
Potts submitted a two-page memo to Savage about the trip, citing his
attendance at the Colorado Information Management Commission and
meetings with Colorado's chief information security officer and other
officials. The memo doesn't mention anything about a homeland security
meeting and, according to the Colorado Information Management
Commission's Web site, it meets the third Friday each month, which
would have put its November meeting on Nov. 18, not Nov. 28.
Colorado homeland security department and information technology
officials who could resolve the question were not available Friday.
One spokesman there said he couldn't remember any such meeting
offhand, but that if Colorado didn't sponsor a conference, it could
have been held by the Multi-state Information Sharing and Analysis
Officials at that organization didn't respond to an e-mail inquiry,
but Potts made no mention of the organization in his report to Savage.
The issue was turned over to the Nevada Attorney General's Office
because of allegations the meeting was fictitious. Investigators
seized expense records from the information department last week and
interviewed Potts in an attempt to resolve the case. Attorney General
George Chanos refused to confirm whether there was an investigation
underway, saying his office doesn't comment even as to the existence
of a probe.
Director Terry Savage said he, too, would be unable to comment as it
would be a personnel matter. He confirmed, however, that Potts has
been placed on administrative leave.
Savage said Potts has done "an excellent job" improving the security
of Nevada's state computer systems and networks over the past three
Potts could not be reached for comment.
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