Chesterfield delegate to lead VITA

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Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Wednesday that he has appointed Republican Delegate Sam Nixon of Chesterfield County to become chief information officer of the Virginia Information Technology Agency.

Nixon, who has been a delegate for 12 years, is a senior consultant at Richmond-based CapTech Ventures, an IT consulting firm.

Nixon will lead VITA at a tumultuous time. The agency is currently at odds with Northrop Grumman over its $2.3 billion IT contract with the state. VITA has accused the company of delays and technical problems.

Nixon will report directly to the governor, through Secretary of Technology Jim Duffey. McDonnell signed legislation this month that gives him oversight of VITA rather than by the Virginia Information Technology Investment Board.

“The final step in our reform of the agency will be the successful completion of the renegotiation of the commonwealth’s outsourcing agreement with Northrop Grumman, and Sam will play a key role in finalizing this matter,” McDonnell said in a statement.

Nixon will replace George Coulter, who led the agency for seven months after the oversight board fired Lemuel C. “Lem” Stewart Jr. for suggesting the state withhold a payment to Northrop Grumman.

McDonnell said he would set a special election to fill Nixon’s seat.

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