Donald Rodgers, Suffolk IT commissioner, resigns after official misconduct arrest

Suffolk County's information technology commissioner Donald Rodgers, 60,

Suffolk County's information technology commissioner Donald Rodgers, 60, leaves First District Court in Central Islip after being arraigned Thursday, May 8, 2014, charged with two misdemeanors -- both official misconduct -- in connection with the Bellone administration's bid last year for a multimillion-dollar software deal with Microsoft. Photo Credit: James Carbone

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Donald Rodgers, the Bellone administration's information technology commissioner, resigned Monday, three months after he was arrested on charges of official misconduct and failing to disclose a company he owned on his county financial disclosure form.

Rodgers delivered his resignation letter to Alan Schneider, the county's personnel director, who is in charge of the civil service, shortly after noon and Schneider delivered it to the 12th floor offices of County Executive Steve Bellone shortly after 3 p.m. The letter, according to county sources, gave no reason for Rodgers' exit.

The Bellone administration declined to comment on the resignation of Rodgers, who had been placed on unpaid administrative leave. A Bellone spokesman said Rodgers' interim replacement, Douglas Miller, acting IT commissioner, would remain in place until the administration decides what to do permanently.

Alan Abramson, Rodgers' attorney, declined to comment.

Rodgers, 60, of Centereach was charged May 8 with offering a false instrument for filing, an E-class felony, relating to his failure to report ownership of a consulting firm -- Red Dog Design Inc. -- and income from the firm generated in 2012 on his county financial disclosure form. He was also charged with two misdemeanors -- both official misconduct -- in connection with a bid last year for a nearly $5 million software deal with computer giant Microsoft, which had been sought by the Bellone administration.

In one of the misdemeanors, he was charged with lying to Suffolk lawmakers when giving testimony about a 2013 Microsoft/Dell enterprise agreement.

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In the other, he was charged with telling an IT employee to generate a fake requisition number. Those alleged actions led to Dell Corp. billing the county for $1.45 million although the money had not been budgeted or funded.

A spokesman for the district attorney's office declined to comment on Rodgers' resignation or his pending case. Court records show Rodgers' next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 8.

Legis. John M. Kennedy Jr. (R-Nesconset), the minority leader who led the charge against the contract, said he has confidence in the acting department managers, but added "there needs to be a hard look at how we're operating" because of ongoing influence of Bellone's performance management aides over IT decisions.

Kennedy, the GOP candidate for county comptroller, also said, "It's indicative that more than ever we need an independent, hands-on, effective comptroller to make sure that public finances are protected."

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