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Peter Quinn Resigns
Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 11:36 AM EST

I gather Peter Quinn has had enough of the public sector. He has resigned from ITD as of January 9. However, my sources tell me that it in no way indicates a change of policy there. And he was not forced out. Just that a decent man has no taste for the unpleasant tactics that one finds in politics nowadays and doesn't wish to be the focus of controversy. Can you blame him, after the sordid article in the Boston Globe? That article's innuendo of wrongdoing proved to be absolutely false, as you know. I hope the Boston Globe does some really deep thinking about its role in all of this. No one human and decent will volunteer to work in the public sector if they are egregiously mistreated as their reward. I believe it's pointless to ask Microsoft to ponder its ways.

I just interviewed Quinn's prior boss, Eric Kriss, and here's what he tells me, although note that it's not an official statement, since Kriss is no longer with the administration.


I've heard that Peter Quinn resigned as the CIO of Massachusetts effective Jan 9, 2006. I met with Peter briefly on December 21, prior to his decision, and he indicated to me he was extremely uncomfortable with the personal attention surrounding the open format controversy. Peter is an IT professional who is not accustomed to the rough-and-tumble world of politics. He found the last few months to be very distasteful, especially the Boston Globe article that seemed to imply some sort of improper influence related to his conference travel. He was completely cleared after an internal administrative review.

As far as I know, Peter was not forced out over policy differences with senior administration officials.


Peter Quinn Resigns | 153 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Peter Quinn Resigns
Authored by: ruurd on Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 11:48 AM EST
Darn. Such a waste.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections here...
Authored by: pscottdv on Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 11:48 AM EST
if any

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off-topic here
Authored by: pscottdv on Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 11:50 AM EST
With link if applicable, please.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Peter Quinn Resigns
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 11:51 AM EST
The Boston Globe won't think about it, or worry about it. The media in general
seems to be a lot less ethical than it was at one time. Nowadays the
advertisers are all important and catchphrases are used in place of content.
"We report, you decide", "Ice Storm 2005", ... If you're
lucky enough to get a retraction printed it will be in the smallest size of type
used elsewhere in a small corner on the bottom of the page, nearest the middle,
in a different section.

If the Boston Globe actually publishes anything about this, my guess is that
they will claim victory in getting rid of such a biassed man.


[ Reply to This | # ]

The new guy
Authored by: ruurd on Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 11:52 AM EST
Hmmmm. Would be interesting to interveiw the new person.
Background, earlier experience, that stuff. PJ, can you
interview this person by the time it's clear who this
person will be?


[ Reply to This | # ]

  • The new guy - Authored by: PJ on Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 12:01 PM EST
    • The new guy - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 12:06 PM EST
    • The new guy - Authored by: ruurd on Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 02:39 PM EST
Peter Quinn Resigns
Authored by: bb5ch39t on Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 11:53 AM EST
Leaving, of course, only the people who have no ethics. Who just "go with
the money". Well, that's the way it is in the U.S. of A. today.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Peter Quinn Resigns
Authored by: geoff lane on Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 12:14 PM EST
I hope somebody with influence in the FOSS community can generate a few job
offers for Peter.

I'm not a Windows user, consequently I'm not
afraid of receiving email from total strangers.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Dijital on Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 12:23 PM EST
This is terrible news. I'm not surprised in the least that Mr. Quinn made this
move many, many people have been left with a sour taste in their mouths over
these attempted smear tactics. According to Mr. Kriss, policy will not change
due to Peter's departure but we'll have to see who his replacement is and
whether or not they are likely to be pliable to the dirty tactics that some
organazations (and politicians) like to use to get their way. Maybe they'll have
connections, or have been known to sway a certain way in the past....?

I almost feel sorry for Peter's replacement because we all know that he Groklaw
community is going to examine this person to see whether or not they are a good
thing for ODF and policy in general. A CIO who only follows the supposed
strongest breeze is a poor CIO indeed.

And I also wanted to say good luck to Mr. Quinn and I certainly how his next
opportunity is much more enjoyable than this public sector fiasco has been. It
is too bad you couldn't stay to see ODF through right to the end, but it's also

- Armando -

"mv sco /dev/null"

[ Reply to This | # ]

Peter Quinn Resigns
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 12:50 PM EST
God I pray that MicroSponge didn't get to him.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • I pray - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 05:33 PM EST
    • I pray - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 09:09 PM EST
Peter Quinn Resigns
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 01:21 PM EST
Gee I wonder if his replacement will select doc as the new

this literally makes me throw up. I am really
considering getting out of IT.

I don't want anyting to do with microsoft and I don't want
to work with their crap.

I guess that just leaves me as some politically incorrect.
I guess I am just anti-american/patriot since I don't want
to work with microsoft. If senators and politicians are
going to force microsoft, drm, trusted computing down our
throats then the IT industry will turn into the land of
the few and corrupt.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Who picks the replacement?
Authored by: rao on Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 01:35 PM EST

Does anybody know who is in charge of the hiring? Does Pacheco have any influence on this?

[ Reply to This | # ]

As John Gardner (Secretary of HEW under Johnson) might have said
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 01:35 PM EST
A society that disgraces its engineers because it believes that engineers are
interchangable and rewards its politicians because it believes that politicians
are irreplacable will soon find that both its standards and its laws have
proliferated beyond control.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Peter Quinn Resigns
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 01:48 PM EST
I work in government and we are in the middle of moving our infrastructure to
open source, and we're about half-way done. One thing I decided from the outset
was to not publish this outside as MS offices are only a few miles away. I have
rhe advantage of being small enough to not have to deal with what Peter went
through. I have a number of government agencies watching my progress and it is
my goal to help others move from MS, now eeven more than ever and I'm a MCSE.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Letter to the Editor
Authored by: capt.Hij on Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 02:11 PM EST
If you would like to make your displeasure with the Boston Globe made known please send a letter to the editor:
Letters to the Editor
The Boston Globe
P.O. Box 2378
Boston, MA 02107-2378

You can also send an electronic letter, but it might not have the same impact that a formal letter might carry.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Thank you Peter Quinn
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 02:31 PM EST
I hope he changes his mind about politics. The government needsd more people of integrity to get involved and stay involved.

Personally, I hope he changes his mind and eventually runs for Governor. I'd vote for him. He may not have much experience with mudslinging or other requirements traditionally found in high level politicians; but I think his proven integrity is far more important than any other qualification that might be considered.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Peter Quinn Resigns
Authored by: lordshipmayhem on Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 02:32 PM EST
January, 1897. Quotes from cables between William Randolph Hurst, newspaper
mogul, and his reporter in Havana, Cuba, Frederic Remington.

"Everything is quiet. There is no trouble. There will be no war. I wish to

Hurst (alleged): "Please remain. You furnish the pictures and I'll
furnish the war."

Ethics in Journalism...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Peter Quinn Resigns
Authored by: cknadle on Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 03:19 PM EST
What a truly bum deal. I even expected it, I'm sorry to say.

What reporcussions did all of the people improperly coming down on Peter Quinn
get in return? What is a good man supposed to think when all of his hard work
is returned with disdain? How can he feel like a team player when after very
thorough research, his own leadership above him is trying to trump his work
instead of supporting him?

What to do? Find a new team... this time one that isn't as broken and
backstabbing. Who can blame him? How would he fix the problem when he's
dependant on those above him to listen and help?

Frankly I don't see an alternative to him leaving -- and yet in my heart I very
much wish that he wouldn't, because his words were like a cool breeze in the
middle of hell.

-- Chris

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft Wins Again
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 05:22 PM EST
I hope the Boston Globe does some really deep thinking about its role in all of this.

Your naivete is breathtaking.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Thank You Peter Quinn
Authored by: PSaltyDS on Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 05:56 PM EST
Mr. Quinn,

Thank you for your excellent work, carefull reasoning and clear, fair judgement while in public service. You have been a shining example of good stewardship over the resources of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

That your character and skill would be lost to the people of your state due to such petty, self serving, manipulation is a true tragedy.

I am not one who thinks politics is necissarily a base and corupt occupation, but the treatment you received explains why so many do.

God bless you and your family on your chosen course. I and many like me hope to hear in the future about how well you are doing... but only if you'd like us to know. :-)

Fair winds and following seas.

"Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced." - Geek's Corrolary to Clarke's Law

[ Reply to This | # ]

Surely Galvin, Pachero and possibly Romney are the ones to blame.
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 06:37 PM EST
I doubt if the Boston Globe made Quinn to resign. More likely it is Galvin and
Pachero that used their leverage to force him into this position as a result of
Quinn being impartial and uncorruptable and dedicated to the best interests of
Massachusetts (unlike Galvin and Pachero). Romney seems to have given tacit
approval to the attacks on Quinn and ODF by standing and watching and doing
absolutely nothing.

[ Reply to This | # ]

It smells bad
Authored by: Nick Bridge on Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 08:59 PM EST
..just plain bad. I hope he wasn't forced out, but let's see if the wind

[ Reply to This | # ]

ODF doesn't need Peter Quinn
Authored by: rjamestaylor on Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 09:07 PM EST
I share the sadness and shame that our politicized society has made it too
uncomfortable for Mr. Quinn to leave his post. Shame on the media. Shame
on the ones who politicized a technical and peoples' rights issue to gain
advantage for their own commercial success.

However, the ODF does not need Mr. Quinn. No disrespect to a smart, ethical
individual is meant. What I mean is that the ODF is bigger than any one
person or company. It is the idea of interchangeability without proprietary
lock-in that is so compelling.

The ODF is about vendor-neutral information exchange. The idea of vendor-
nuetral information exchange is a winner every time it's tried. Look at the
Internet versus proprietary networks of CompuServe, AOL, Prodigy, etc. I will
stop with this example -- it's the most compelling one.

The attention Mr. Quinn's efforts in leading the technology selection in MA
towards the ODF have garnered is of inestimable value. That said, any
competent IT professional in his role should have come to the same
undeniable conclusion: non-proprietary is in the best interest of the State and

its people. Period.

I just hope the next IT leader in MA is competent as well.

Good luck, Mr. Quinn.

SCO delenda est! Salt their fields!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Peter Quinn Resigns
Authored by: CraigV on Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 09:52 PM EST
Peter Quinn has such a strong reputation amongst good
folks that I expect he will soon be offerred a better
paying job for another organization. He has demonstrated
the ability to perform outstanding work under difficult
circumstances in a topic that will only expand in the
coming years. MA is the loser here.

[ Reply to This | # ]

I hope resigning will allow Quinn to go public .
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, December 28 2005 @ 05:56 AM EST
I hope resigning will allow Quinn to go public about the details of what went on
inside Massachusetts, particularly Galvin and Pachero's improprieties. These
include trying to force Massachusetts IT Dept, and Libraries to use a Microsoft
archive format that is unsuitable and that will give Microsoft monopoly control
of Massachusetts IT procument, attempting to change the rules to prevent IT Dept
form choosing it's own file formats, and bullying/pressurising Quinn and others
who are trying to do their jobs honestly and professionally.

If Quinn is prepared to speak out publically, this could yet backfire very badly
on Galvin, Pachero and Microsoft.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Best wishes Mr. Quinn
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, December 28 2005 @ 10:07 AM EST
Mr. Quinn,

I think I speak for the majority of groklawyers when I say I have great respect
for you and the work you've done, and I wish you the best in your next endeavor.
Should you find yourself in need of a security analyst at the next organization
you take the helm of, I would be honored to work under you and can be reached at

[ Reply to This | # ]

The One to Watch...
Authored by: iceworm on Wednesday, December 28 2005 @ 12:42 PM EST

now, is Linda Hamel, Esq., General Counsel, ITD, MA. I was greatly impressed with her intestinal fortitude by her solid support of Peter.

Good, on yer, Linda!

iceworm (curmudgeon in training)

[ Reply to This | # ]

A new "Peter Principle"
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, December 29 2005 @ 01:30 PM EST
Instead of everyone rising to their top level of competence plus one, then
staying there...with due results...just replace the competency limitation with
political forces or corporate pressures.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Peter Quinn Resigns
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, December 29 2005 @ 01:47 PM EST
Maybe we should all ask Stephen...

[ Reply to This | # ]

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