Peter Quinn, the Massachusetts State CIO who led the charge to make public documents in Massachusetts truly open with ODF announced that he will resign on Jan 9th. In an interview with Groklaw, Quinn's former boss, Eric Kriss said that Quinn was uncomfortable with the personal attention surrounding the controversy:
Peter is an IT professional who is not accustomed to the rough-and-tumble world of politics. He found the last few months to be very distasteful, especially the Boston Globe article that seemed to imply some sort of improper influence related to his conference travel.
In his resignation email on Dec 24th, Quinn wrote:
Many of these events have been very disruptive and harmful to my personal well-being, my family and many of my closest friends. This is a burden I will no longer carry.
Boy can I relate. This whole incident brought back some very unpleasant memories for me.
Quinn was the subject of a page one story in the Boston Globe alleging misconduct related to travel. The headline was "Romney administration reviewing trips made by technology chief." Of course the reason the administration was reviewing Quinn was because the paper had begun asking questions. Later, in a story reported in the local section, the paper reported that an internal investigation had cleared Quinn of wrongdoing.
Why'd he resign then? Because he smart enough to know that won't be the end of it. Quinn's enemies would have started a new investigation somewhere else Likely someone in the legislature would have called an audit and that would have been reported in the same biased way. The only way to make it stop is to leave.
What does this mean for Massachusetts' ODF initiative? In his letter, Quinn said that his resignation doesn't mean ODF is dead in Massachusetts. I suspect that's true. The cat is out of the bag now and there are plenty of people involved in the fight. I'm willing to bet the next CIO will not touch it with a ten-foot poll, but that's not important. It may take a few years, but this is a battle that's time has come.