Report: METRO's CEO did nothing wrong

April 22, 2010 6:27:08 PM PDT
A limited-scope investigation commissioned by the METRO board cleared its president Thursday of wrongdoing at the agency. As a business owner along the proposed Light Rail line on Richmond, Paul Magaziner makes no secret of his feelings toward METRO CEO Frank Wilson.

"I don't think Mr. Wilson's listened to the community," he said. "I don't like what's happened in the last six years in terms of transparency at all."

Mayor Annise Parker has constantly stated that she wants Wilson gone. But on Thursday, he was sitting with newly appointed board members, watching the mayor give a speech at a luncheon.

"I just saw him today. He's still here," Houston councilwoman Jolanda Jones said.

On Thursday afternoon, the METRO board spent two hours in executive session mainly talking about legal matters relating to Wilson. When finished, they released a report commissioned by METRO that cleared Wilson of allegations that he misspent METRO funds in travels with his chief of staff, Joanne Wright.

"UHY found no evidence of improper spending or reimbursements or any other prohibitive action related to our CEO, Mr. Frank Wilson," METRO Board Chair Gilbert Garcia said. "The inquiry was thorough, and it was complete."

But the board did move to form a compensation committee which will look at the pay and perks of METRO executives. The one question they didn't address when Wilson might be gone.

"Frank Wilson is still the CEO because he is doing a good job of keeping the business of METRO going," Garcia said.

Garcia points out that new board was only sworn in three weeks ago, and major investigations and personnel changes take time.

Mayor Parker says, for now, she's being patient.

"They clearly understand my feeling that Mr. Wilson has had a negative impact on the agency, but they have the discretion to work through the issues," Parker said.

Although the agency has cleared Wilson on its end, the Harris County District Attorney's Office is still investigating the allegations.

ABC13 looked at Wilson and Wright's travel records. Since 2006, they've taken seven trips to Washington together, along with trips to Toronto, Charlotte, San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago and Orlando. Many times arriving on a weekend before a Monday conference

METRO said the travel is explainable, and some extra compensation Wright received was not out of the ordinary.


Load Comments