Alleged expense violations by state official | NevadaAppeal.com
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Alleged expense violations by state official

The Department of Information Technology’s chief of security is on administrative leave pending an investigation of a trip he took on state business to Denver, Colo.

Randy Potts has gone to a number of meetings to deal with cyber-security and homeland security issues in his position charged with protecting the security of state computer systems. The trip was authorized by Terry Savage, head of the department.

His reimbursement claim dated Dec. 27, 2005, states he was in Denver “for Homeland Security meeting” from Nov. 28 until Dec. 2, 2005. Potts requested $994.80 in expenses plus $762.39 for airfare – a total of $1,757.19. The payment was authorized by Savage on Jan. 31 this year.

But questions have been raised as to whether there was a homeland security meeting in Denver on those dates.

Potts submitted a two-page memo to Savage about the trip, citing his attendance at the Colorado Information Management Commission and meetings with Colorado’s chief information security officer and other officials. The memo doesn’t mention anything about a homeland security meeting and, according to the Colorado Information Management Commission’s Web site, it meets the third Friday each month, which would have put its November meeting on Nov. 18, not Nov. 28.

Colorado homeland security department and information technology officials who could resolve the question were not available Friday. One spokesman there said he couldn’t remember any such meeting offhand, but that if Colorado didn’t sponsor a conference, it could have been held by the Multi-state Information Sharing and Analysis Center.

Officials at that organization didn’t respond to an e-mail inquiry, but Potts made no mention of the organization in his report to Savage.

The issue was turned over to the Nevada Attorney General’s Office because of allegations the meeting was fictitious. Investigators seized expense records from the information department last week and interviewed Potts in an attempt to resolve the case. Attorney General George Chanos refused to confirm whether there was an investigation underway, saying his office doesn’t comment even as to the existence of a probe.

Director Terry Savage said he, too, would be unable to comment as it would be a personnel matter. He confirmed, however, that Potts has been placed on administrative leave.

Savage said Potts has done “an excellent job” improving the security of Nevada’s state computer systems and networks over the past three years.

Potts could not be reached for comment.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.