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Obama CIO a confessed petty thief

Blogosphere surfaces 12-year-old guilty plea

America's first CIO once pleaded guilty to a petty theft charge, according to Maryland state records.

Vivek Kundra is currently on leave from his federal CIO post, after one of his former employees was arrested for alleged IT bribery.

The 34-year-old Kundra was tapped for the newly-formed CIO position on March 5, after almost two years as chief technology officer for the local Washington, D.C. government.

Just seven days after the appointment, a manager in the D.C. CTO office was arrested on charges of bribery, conspiracy, money laundering, and conflict of interest. Forty-year-old Yusuf Acar is suspected of soliciting and accepting bribes in exchange for IT contracts.

Following the arrest, the White House said that Kundra had been put on leave - though federal authorities have told several news sources that he is not part of the investigation into Acar's behavior. According to the White House, he is on leave due to "an abundance of caution."

Now, the blogosphere has turned up Maryland state records showing that Kundra pleaded guilty to a sub-$300 theft charge in 1997. The arrest was first noticed by the Hot Air Blog and was soon trumpeted by Valleywag and, yes, Fox News.

The White House has yet to respond to our request for comment. Gary Segal, the lawyer who represented Kundra after his 1997 arrest, responded only to say "I'm sorry but there is nothing I can say about this matter."

After pleading guilty to petty theft, Kundra received "supervised probation" for less than a month and a fine of $500. $400 of that was suspended. ®

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