While the nine new members of the OCTA Board had an opportunity to revisit the selection of Darrell Johnson as the agency’s chief executive, his appointment was unanimous per the Register and the union-funded Voice of OC. Johnson’s original selection was more a Brown Act issue than it was about him (he’s absolutely more competent than his predecessor) — some of the BOS Directors were unable to vote on him as it did not occur during a regular Board meeting. We thought that to be a fairly serious legal issue but apparently no one else did.
The OCTA board of directors has voted to postpone the replacement of retiring CEO Will Kempton. They had settled on his replacement, Darrell Johnson, but they violated the Brown Act in the process. Now they have opted to wait until the new OCTA board members are sworn in, next month.
“One of those who raised concerns was county Supervisor Pat Bates. She later concluded that the vote to appoint Johnson had illegally happened during a special meeting. California’s open-meeting law forbids local agency boards from calling special meetings to consider the compensation of executives,” according to the O.C. Register. Continue reading
For a public agency with a $1.1 Billion budget, you’d think they’d have a smarter lawyer. Per the Register’s OC Watchdog,
…Ken Smart, OCTA’s general counsel, acknowledged that last week’s vote was improper because it took place at a special meeting of the agency’s board. The Brown Act, California’s open meeting law, forbids local agency boards from calling special meetings to consider the compensation of agency executives. The board’s vote on the appointment included a contract with Johnson that was later signed, [OC Supervisor Pat] Bates said. Smart couldn’t immediately be reached for comment on Monday. Continue reading
Also addressed at the OCTA meeting was the national search for a new CEO for OCTA . . . or lack Continue reading
The Register published an AP piece today on a group of entrepreneurs who are reviving the long ago cancelled train service between southern California and Las Vegas: Calif.-Vegas party train could hit tracks in 2013. Amtrak operated between LA and Las Vegas for years, but eliminated the run 15 years ago due to lack of ridership. Continue reading
Update: We broke this story on Nov. 20, 2012. The OCTA confirmed it today with a press release we are including below our original post:
Darrell Johnson is the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Orange County Transportation Authority, serving in the position since 2010. My sources tell me that Johnson will be appointed next week to step in as CEO of the OCTA when the current CEO, Will Kempton, leaves at the end of February, next year. Kempton is leaving to join a non-profit organization in Sacramento – Transportation California.