County’s Top Technology Officer Quits

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Christina Koslosky, Orange County’s chief information officer since March 2014, resigned last Friday, according to multiple county officials.

Top-level officials are saying little publicly about the reasons behind her departure.

“She is a class act and I will miss working with her,” county CEO Frank Kim said in an email to department heads Monday.

Koslosky, who did not return a call through the county for comment, is the second county IT director in just over two years to leave. Her predecessor, Mahesh Patel, abruptly retired in February 2014 amid criticism regarding cost overruns and other issues within the department.

Koslosky’s resignation comes the same month as the deadline for the county’s largest IT contractor, the European company Atos, to get back on track on a massive $132-million project to upgrade county phones and computer networks.

The work is months behind schedule, which has forced the county to pay millions of dollars extra to keep older contracts running, Koslosky has told the county Board of Supervisors.

Atos, which took on the contract when it bought Xerox’s IT services division last year, was given a year-long list of delivery dates last June to meet or else face the termination of their contract.

Sources close to the county say several department heads have been distrustful of Koslosky and the central IT department and have opposed efforts to centralize their systems.

That distrust was memorialized in a letter last year by four department heads saying they have “serious concerns” about the centralization and asking to be left out of it.

“We would like to exercise our right to opt out of the proposed IT Shared Services model,” said the memo from Assessor Claude Parrish, Auditor-Controller Eric Woolery, Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen and Treasurer-Tax Collector Shari Freidenrich.

More recently, county agencies have been running into problems with computer and phone networks failing, sometimes for hours at a time, according to a county log of system disruptions related to Atos.

The county’s assistant IT director, Charles Eckstrom, has been named acting head of the department until a permanent replacement is found, Kim wrote in his Monday email.

Eckstrom joined the county last October after over a decade in senior IT positions in the private sector, including at Deloitte Consulting, Countrywide, UnitedHealth Group, and Toshiba Corporation.

Correction: A previous version of this story misspelled Auditor-Controller Eric Woolery’s last name. We regret the error.

Nick Gerda covers county government for Voice of OC. He can be reached at ngerda@voiceofoc.org.

  • octaxpayer

    Class act??? Her experience prior was with contracts no real IT experience. Well you can see how bad this contract was written. BOS was sold a bill of goods. Now us tax payers will pay.

  • octaxpayer

    One other question what about the Project Management office? They were the ones in charge to make this work. One problem is when other would bring up issues about wrong information we were told to shut up.

  • octaxpayer

    another mistake is thinking a CIO from private sector will work will in a political environment. I remember KC Rostenberg telling Pat Bates in a public BOS broadcast that this will all work fine. He lied as usual.

  • Jacki Livingston

    Poor gal. When the IT system has been so deeply corrupted for embezzlement and fraud, by the corrupt County big wigs, there is no way that anyone can fix the problems. I find it hilarious that those who want to opt out are the ones not directly involved with CalWin. Color me shocked. /sarcasm

  • Brexit

    Good riddance, the state of the county’s IT system is beyond atrocious. For the amount of taxpayer money spent I shouldn’t have to wait for employees to answer questions like they’re still on a dial up connection.