Two Top Maricopa County Officials Leaving Over Next Few Weeks

February 27, 2023

By Terri Jo Neff |

Maricopa County officials have been working for several weeks on replacing County Manager Joy Rich, who is retiring in early April. Now, the county’s top IT employee is also leaving.

Chief Information Officer (CIO) Ed Winfield is retiring later this week as head of Maricopa County’s Office of Enterprise Technology where he is responsible for all aspects of information technology strategy, operations, service, and security.

For now, Winfield’s duties will be handled by Lester Godsey, the county’s Chief Information Security Officer or CISO. Godsey has been responsible for all cybersecurity and data privacy efforts for Maricopa County.

In turn, Godsey will temporarily turn over his CISO duties to Assistant CISO Seema Patel, who is the county’s director of Information Security Assurance.

How long Godsey and Patel hold those interim positions depends on the speed in which the Board of Supervisors replace Rich. The decision has been made to allow the new manager to hire the new CIO, according to a county spokesperson.

Rich, who as Maricopa County’s chief administrator has been responsible since 2016 for roughly 13,000 employees across 40 departments, announced her impending retirement back in January.

Applications for her position were not due until Feb. 13, leading to the possibility an interim manager could be named if a new manager is not in place by Rich’s last day of April 7.

Terri Jo Neff is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or send her news tips here.

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