Vivek Kundra On Leave From White House
Newsflash: sources tell the Associated Press that newly-appointed national CIO Vivek Kundra is now on leave from the White House following an FBI raid of his former department.
Kundra, the 34-year-old former chief technology officer for Washington, D.C., is not the target of the investigation, according to a spokesperson for Mayor Adrian Fenty. (The acting security chief, Yusuf Acar, was taken into custody, along with former city employee-turned entrepreneur Sushil Bansal, who was released but is due in court next month.)
But the controversy was obviously enough to force Kundra out of his office until more details emerge.
CIO Insight contributor Tony Kontzer had an interesting take on Kundra shortly after the announcement, and I just finished writing a column for eWeek on his appointment. The bottom line: his background shows a ton of promise, and he seems like an ideal pick to deliver on the innovation and efficiencies President Barack Obama has promised to bring to government.
On the political front, Kundra is just the latest appointee or nominee to face problems after being named. On the technological front, the setback is similar, as much-needed initiatives could be postponed.
The FBI was apparently targeting corruption in the D.C. CTO's office. It already yielded one arrest from there, and there's no telling if there will be more. You could easily argue that Kundra should be removed permanently for not sniffing out the corruption, but let's face it: no one really ever does, at least not until the feds get involved.