Nov. 22, 2010 06:22 PM

City Parish President Joey Durel has appointed a committee to help spearhead a search for the city's next Chief Information Officer. City Parish President Joey Durel has appointed a committee to help spearhead a search for the city's next Chief Information Officer. The five-person committee includes Golfballs.com President Tom Cox, The Schumacher Group CIO Doug Menefee, Stuller Settings Chief Technology Officer Carol Skarlat, Fugro Chance CIO Jerry Greig and Lafayette Parish Assessor Conrad Comeaux. Menefee says the group met informally last week and will be meeting again this Wednesday morning with Durel to hear his thoughts on the ideal candidate and review the position's job description.

"We recognize," Menefee says, "the critical role a CIO plays in any organization capitalizing on 21st Century technology advancements. Lafayette has positioned itself as a technology leader and the next CIO needs to continue to transition city-parish government into the information age." Menefee adds that Durel has indicated he is looking for someone with vision and leadership, who will be engaged in the community, along with managing the day to day operations of City Hall's Information Technology department. He says the committee will look both locally and nationally for candidates. Because of the fast approaching holiday season, Menefee adds it's unlikely the committee will make any recommendation to Durel before January of next year.

Last month, Durel dismissed Keith Thibodeaux, LCG's first ever CIO who came on board in 2004, and appointed Tonia Khosropour, a 25-year veteran of LCG and a division head with the IT department as interim CIO. Thibodeaux's firing came after federal court filings alleging his entanglement in kickback schemes orchestrated by Belle Chase tech vendor Mark St. Pierre. Thibodeaux's wife, Celeste was hired by one of St. Pierre's firms back in 2005. That same year, Thibodeaux recommended St. Pierre's firm, NetMethods, for a $45,000 consulting contract. LCG later hired Net Methods for a crime camera contract worth approximately $141,000. Neither Keith nor Celeste Thibodeaux have been charged with any criminal conduct in the ongoing case. Upon Thibodeaux's firing, LCG reported its former CIO to the Board of Ethics for possible violations.