Check out the article in the New Times about Maricopa County IT CIO Steve Wetzel spending money on computer equipment like it's going out of style. What is going on? The county is in the middle of one of the biggest fiscal crises ever, and the Board of Supervisors are already in trouble for spending $347 million on a new luxury court tower. The Board of Supervisors has forced the Sheriff and County Attorney to cut their law enforcement budgets by 15%.
Who is this guy and why is he doing it?
According to New Times, an anonymous letter revealed that Wetzel is a former employee of Cisco Systems, and got Cisco to give the county a mysterious $527,000 donation. Obviously they're not doing it out of the generosity of their hearts.
Excerpts from the article:
The anonymous letter says that this is the 5th CIO the county has hired within the fast few years! Inept. Wonder how much it cost taxpayers to hire and train all of them. Apparently Wetzel is buying these ultra-expensive servers in order to turn the county into a #1 data center. Which goes against the grain of government, which should be concerned about costs, not fancy new computer equipment trying to compete with the private sector. According to the anonymous writer, the county currently runs on one Cisco server just fine, but Wetzel is buying four more at a cost of $500,000 each! Arizona Republic reporter Yvonne Wingett gives this outrage a free pass, since the County Supervisors and managers have sidled up to her giving her special access to their offices. What a shame, at least the New Times is reporting this.