JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A Mississippi Department of Education executive at the center of questions about the department's contracting practices is resigning.
Spokeswoman Jean Cook told The Associated Press on Friday that Chief Information Officer John Porter is leaving the department at the end of November for "personal reasons."
A company owned by Porter was paid $342,000 before Porter was hired. The department also hired Elton Stokes and Data One IT, a company run by Stokes' wife, for $263,000 of data management work. Both Porter and Stokes once worked in the same Maryland school system as Wright.
State Auditor Stacey Pickering accused the department of "blatant disregard" for purchasing laws, saying it evaded bid thresholds. State Superintendent Carey Wright denies wrongdoing.
Cook says Porter's departure has nothing to do with the contracting criticism.