New METRO board members named

March 18, 2010 8:49:39 PM PDT
There's a big shake-up in leadership at METRO, where the mayor has cleaned house and named five new board members. In a press conference Thursday afternoon, Mayor Parker announced the following names as replacements to outgoing board members:

  • Gilbert Garcia, a managing partner with Davis, Hamilton, Jackson and Associates and also Parker's campaign chair
  • Dwight Jefferson, an attorney
  • Carrin Patman, an attorney
  • Allen Dale Watson, an engineer
  • Christof Spieler, an engineer

The shake-up comes as the district attorney looks into accusations of document shredding to cover up an alleged affair and accusations of misspending.

But before the new appointments were made Thursday, the outgoing board met for the last time. Among the items discussed, they agreed to hire an outside investigator to look into allegations against the transit agency. It also agreed to pay the legal fees of current METRO President Frank Wilson.

As we discovered by talking to the outgoing board chairman and the mayor herself, there's no love lost between the two.

"It's very unfortunate that a transit agency has to take these seriously," said METRO Board President David Wolff. "But we have a public mission and if we do not investigate them, then people are going to say that we're not going to do everything we can to develop relevant facts."

"I appreciate Mr. Wolff's service on the METRO board and I look forward to having my own board in place," said Mayor Parker. "I know that the district attorney is also looking at the situation. So I'm quite confident there will be a complete and thorough search for the truth."

The five nominees will get approved by city council and will assume their new roles in April. They're expected to make major management changes. One of those changes is likely to be removing current CEO Frank Wilson if he doesn't resign beforehand.

As all of the changes are taking place, bus and train operations will go on uninterrupted.


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