MOHSEP employee accused in software probe resigns

Program developed by city-parish

The Baton Rouge city-parish employee accused of trying to sell as his own product an in-house software program developed by the city-parish has resigned.

Kyle Jones, the chief of operations for the Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, resigned effective May 29, according to MOHSEP Director JoAnne Moreau.

Jones was put on administrative leave after officials learned he was attempting to sell a copyrighted MOHSEP disaster management program, called TRACE 360, as his own product, which he called GRANTWARE.

MOHSEP uses the program for “tracking, input, accountability, time management, meeting records, reporting and financial reporting,” according to an internal investigation.

District Attorney Hillar Moore III confirmed last month that his office met with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI to discuss the investigation.

During the investigation of Jones, city-parish officials discovered an email from Parish Attorney Mary Roper to her husband that included source codes for the program.

Some council members questioned why she sent the information to her husband, who works for the city-parish’s Public Works department, and Mayor Pro Tem Chandler Loupe asked her to take a leave of absence.

Several council members, saying they have lost confidence in Roper, are in the process of trying to remove her from office. A hearing is scheduled for June 18, at which Roper will have a chance to make the case that she should be allowed to keep her job.

Roper has insisted she did nothing wrong, and only dealt with the source codes for the program as she worked to secure the copyright. She said she consulted with her husband because he has expertise in computer programming and was able to answer some of her technical questions.

Moore has said Roper is not being investigated.

Follow Rebekah Allen on Twitter, @rebekahallen. For more coverage of city-parish government, follow City Hall Buzz blog at http://blogs.theadvocate.com/cityhallbuzz.