Mark Myers (above) in photo from Government Tech website (Photo by Republic/David Kidd)
LITTLE ROCK (November 26, 2016) ~ At noon:12 on the day before Thanksgiving, AMP published a report about Mark Myers’s presentation at a technology conference.
An hour and three minutes later, Arkansas Times published news of his resignation.
I note the proximity of publication and news of his resignation ~ obviously happenstance ~ only because of my thoughts that morning as I edited the story. I wondered whether Mr. Myers’s candor would enhance his career. More to the point, I wondered whether he would regret his pointed observations about the state of his department, the Department of Information Systems, and his rather stark warnings about the threat of cybertage to Arkansas’s data. Perhaps his critique was a bit harsh for a public forum. Perhaps his boss would take umbrage.
Mr. Myers’s boss happens to be Governor Asa Hutchinson, who put Mr. Myers in charge of the DIS in January 2015. Before he became director of the Department of Information Systems, Mr. Myers worked in the office of Arkansas’s secretary of state.
Here is the recent chronology: Mr. Myers spoke at the NWA Technology Summit in Rogers on October 7. AMP reporter Evin Demeril attended the lecture and submitted his story on November 11. We finally published the story at 12:12 p.m. on November 23. Best I can tell, Max Brantley was first with news of Mr. Myers’s resignation at 1:15 p.m.
The governor didn’t comment beyond the official announcement: Mark Myers submitted his resignation to my office this morning. I appreciate Mark’s service to our state and wish him well in his career. In the meantime, I am appointing Yessica Jones as interim director of DIS.
Mr. Myers didn’t respond to a text message I sent asking for comment. The governor’s office didn’t respond to my email in which I requested elaboration. UPDATE: The governor’s office responded:
Mr. Myers is known beyond Arkansas. GT magazine published a piece about him in August 2015. And on October 28, GT published a story about his progress in upgrading Internet access in Little Rock schools.