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Governor appoints new Information Technology, Senior Services chiefs

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

Gov. Kay Ivey made two new cabinet appointments Wednesday, naming James “Jim” Purcell Sr. as the acting secretary of the Office of Information Technology and Todd Cotton as the acting commissioner of the Department of Senior Services.

“I am proud to appoint Jim and Todd to serve in my cabinet,” Ivey said. “Both men bring a great deal of experience in the areas in which they will serve and both fully embrace my desire to have an open, honest and accountable administration. I look forward to working with both of them in their respective roles in the days ahead.

Jim Purcell

Purcell steps up as acting secretary after serving as the chief operations officer for OIT since December 2016. He has overseen a wide variety of programs including shared services.

A 25-year IT veteran, Purcell — a Georgia State University graduate — also worked in the private sector for 17 years at Brasfield and Gorrie as an IT consultant. Before joining OIT, Purcell was a manager of solutions architecture for VeriStor Inc.’s Alabama and Tennessee operations.

“I am honored to have been chosen by Governor Ivey to lead the Office of Information Technology,” Purcell said. “As technology continues to change, the technology related needs of our state government changes; and I am excited to lead the charge in keeping our state on the cutting edge.”

Todd Cotton

Cotton — another government career official — has been the chief fiscal Officer and assistant commissioner of the Alabama Department of Senior Services since 2015.

He previously served in the accounting division since 1997. Before that, he served at the Alabama Medicaid Agency since 1990. Cotton holds a bachelor of science in business administration with an emphasis in accounting from Auburn University at Montgomery.

“Under Governor Ivey’s leadership, I look forward to helping meet the needs of senior citizens across our state,” Cotton said. “The Department of Senior Services is tasked with serving those citizens who have given much to our state and who, at times, are in great need of help. I am honored to spearhead the efforts to meet those needs.”

Purcell succeeds Joanne Hale as OIT secretary and Cotton succeeds Neal Morrison in Senior Services. Both appointments are effective on Saturday, July 15, 2017.

Chip Brownlee is a former political reporter, online content manager and webmaster at the Alabama Political Reporter. He is now a reporter at The Trace, a non-profit newsroom covering guns in America.

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