JONESBORO — Union County's chief information officer is headed to another job, leaving open the county's top government transparency job.
Union County's CIO, Rollie Hawk, is leaving the post to accept a full-time position with Family Counseling Center Inc. His final day with the county will be Jan. 15, 2018.
Hawk said he has offered to help out the county part-time or on a transitional basis, if needed.
He started working for the county in August 2011, joining the staff to work in IT consulting and email/web hosting.
A few years later, in 2014, the county created the CIO position and added on freedom of information duties, Hawk said.
It was in September 2016 that the position was made full-time, Hawk said.
Hawk said he has worked for Family Counseling Center before. It recently offered him a full-time job, doing a combination of IT work and marketing and public relations.
Hawk said that when he initially started working with the county, he had not thought it would be work he would enjoy.
"My time with the County has been without a doubt an exciting ride," Hawk wrote in his resignation letter to the County Board of Commissioners. "While there have been many ups and downs, I truly believe I leave the County in a better place both technologically and in terms of public perception and transparency than when I began."
"I have a strong libertarian streak and thought I wouldn't like working for government but found a lot that I was passionate about, hence my expanding role through the years as I was able to fill a lot of gaps," Hawk said in an email to The Southern. "There is a lot I'm going to miss and a lot of people I've gotten close to, and I hate leaving them behind, but this is the right move for me and my family."
"At the same time, it sparked a lot of interest for me in local government and I'm sure I'll continue to be involved in local government in some way, even if just as a much more interested citizen than I was seven years ago," Hawk said.
Union County Administrator Angela Coke said it was not clear whether county administrators would fill the CIO position with an internal or external candidate.