Florida CIO arrested

Florida state Web site

Florida's chief information officer, Roy Cales, turned himself in to authorities Aug. 30 after they issued a warrant for his arrest for grand theft stemming from a 1996 incident. He resigned his post the same day.

Cales, 39, had been on administrative leave with pay since July 18 while the Leon County Sheriff's Office investigated the charge.

"The State Technology Office is at a crucial stage of development," Cales wrote in a short resignation letter to Gov. Jeb Bush. "It is important for you to have a CIO in place to lead it at this time. Therefore, it is with deep regret that I must tender my resignation effective immediately."

In a prepared statement, Bush said, "The crimes which Roy is accused of committing are serious, but we must affirm that public officials enjoy the same presumption of innocence afforded to all of us."

According to the Leon County Sheriff's Office, Cales obtained a $13,280 loan from a local bank in 1996 when he owned a Tallahassee-based software company, Integrity Data Inc. The loan was for computer equipment the company would supply to a local TV station.

Cales allegedly presented a letter to the bank that was supposedly signed by the station's business manager. In the letter, addressed to Cales, the manager promised to make a joint payment for services rendered to Integrity Data and the bank, which subsequently approved the loan, according to the Sheriff's Office.

After Cales' company went out of business and he filed for bankruptcy, the bank attempted to recover the remaining loan balance of $5,855.37 from the TV station. According to the Sheriff's Office, the station's business manager not only had no knowledge of the letter, but said her name was forged and misspelled.

According to the Tallahassee Democrat, Cales was charged with grand theft for a different incident in 1985, but those charges were dropped.

Cales, who earned $95,000 annually, was named CIO in 1999 and headed the State Technology Office, which is housed under the Department of Management Services (www.state.fl.us/dms).

Lisa Gates, the governor's spokeswoman, said Kim Baharami, Cales' chief of staff, has been the acting CIO since Cales has been on administrative leave.

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