HARRISBURG (CBS) – The man at the center of a controversy over the tracking of activist groups in Pennsylvania has resigned as the state’s Homeland Security director.

First came the revelations that the Commonwealth paid a company called the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response more than $100,000 for information that turned out to be mostly about the activities of peaceful activist groups.

Then at a hearing on Monday, state police brass testified that they warned the state office of Homeland Security that much of the information was little more than “unsubstantiated gossip.” Now Homeland Security director James Powers has resigned, citing the controversy.
Governor Rendell says he will accept Powers’ resignation:

“Jim is a good man who made a very significant mistake in judgment.”

The governor stressed that he did not ask for Powers’ resignation, and said that Powers’ decision to step down on his own is indicative of the kind of sacrifices Powers has made during a career serving his country, including 30 years as an officer in special forces.

Reported By: Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio Harrisburg Bureau Chief

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