Friday, October 1, 2010

Powers Quits After Security Alert Bulletins Controversy

The head of Pennsylvania’s Office of Homeland Security office has stepped down, days after he defended the department’s controversial intelligence reports before a state Senate hearing.
Governor Ed Rendell had dismissed the intelligence documents as useless, after the bulletins listing information about political rallies and protests became public.
When Director James Powers appeared before the Senate Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security Committee, he said the reports had provided a valuable service for local governments and law enforcement agencies.
Rendell rejected calls that he fire Powers but he did accept his resignation....

"Jim is a good man who made a very significant mistake in judgment. And he has decided that the operation of his department is too important for his own personal desire to stay in the way of it."

Powers' last day on the job will be October 8th.
The public outcry was fast and furious, after news broke Powers’ office had been distributing information about protests to private companies and local law enforcement.
Rendell has canceled a state contract with the private security firm who gathered the data.
The targeted groups, including drilling opponents, gay rights activists and G20 protesters say their rights were violated.

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