IT leader resigns

Published 10:35 pm Thursday, January 10, 2013

The director of the city’s Information Technology Department has resigned about three weeks after the Suffolk News-Herald revealed a scathing consultant’s report that was critical of his leadership skills.

City Chief of Staff Debbie George confirmed Thursday that Clifford Branch no longer works for the city.

The leaked report, prepared by Endurance IT Services and delivered to City Manager Selena Cuffee-Glenn in July, pinpointed numerous issues, including lack of vision, substandard infrastructure, project management deficiencies and a department full of employees who were seeking other jobs.

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Leadership was called the “single largest area of concern” discovered during the assessment. The report said Branch “functions in a ‘boss’ capacity as opposed to a leader” and is “unequipped to handle” the role.

When the News-Herald published its original story on Dec. 17, Branch had been temporarily reassigned to work on a project regarding regional communications during emergencies.

The report made 10 pages of recommendations, some of which have been implemented. They include establishing a project management office and reorganizing the departmental structure.

According to sources, Cuffee-Glenn called the department’s employees to a meeting and told them the leadership would not change and they should find other jobs if they wanted.

The city never released its copy of the report, but the News-Herald obtained it through a source who leaked it when changes had not been made months after the report was presented to Cuffee-Glenn. She said in a City Council meeting last month that police are investigating how media outlets obtained the report.

Branch could not be reached for comment.