The well-respected head of New York State's Office of Homeland Security announced Thursday he is leaving his post for a job in the private sector. Officials said Thomas Donlon's departure is not connected to the scandal that has rocked the Paterson administration and resulted in the resignation of five other administration and state police officials.
Donlon helped lead state efforts to try to prevent a terrorist attack. He also helped coordinate security operations between federal, state and local agencies. Before joining state government, Donlon spent 31 years with the FBI. He had served in the FBI's National Threat Center and also helped lead the New York FBI's counter-terrorism division. Donlon was a lead case agent in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing case.
As state Homeland Security Director, Donlon served during the Zazi terror plot investigation that targeted New York subways as well as the alleged terror plot to bomb synagogues in the Bronx.
Donlon leaves his position as Governor Paterson, some top aides and former leaders of the state police have been facing scrutiny for their alleged involvement with a domestic violence case linked to one of his aides. The victim - Sherr-una Booker - has claimed Paterson aide David Jackson abused her last Halloween. She claimed members of the State Police and others then began "harassing" her not to press charges.
Paterson's press secretary, communications director, two state police directors and his director of public safety all left office amid the investigation.
As for Donlon, officials would not disclose what firm has hired him. Donlon had worked worked for Credit Suisse. Officials said he will stay in office through the end of next week.