Orange County Transportation Corridors Agencies head resigns after investigation into alleged misconduct
A spokesman for the transportation agencies announced Thursday morning that the three commissioners and their staff had accepted “the resignation of former board president and current board member Larry R. Brown. Brown left due to ill health.”
The three transportation commissioners have resigned along with their top two staff members under a cloud of allegations that the agencies — which include the state’s public transit agencies and the county’s transportation system — have done little to prevent the alleged misconduct under their watch. The resignations come in the wake of a county district attorney investigating the agencies over claims that the systems are not doing enough to prevent fare evasion.
A spokesman for the agency said Brown resigned before the county commission held its Tuesday night meeting.
Officials said the agency has not been notified of any disciplinary action as a result of the federal probe.
The county district attorney’s office announced Wednesday that it was charging the three transportation agencies with a crime after finding that “they are not performing to the best of their abilities to prevent fare evasion.”
Brown was suspended from the board of directors of the agencies at the beginning of the month after it was revealed that he was running a $2 million private company while serving on the board. Brown had worked with former Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Cox to try and unseat Republican incumbent Gov. John Kasich, but Cox decided not to run and opted to run for Kasich’s office instead.
Cox had faced pressure to repay money he claims the agencies gave to Cox, who had hired him and another former official for their private consulting firm.
According to Brown, he left that firm to work for his wife, who was CEO of a company that operates the Red Hook Yacht Club in New York. Brown’s wife is also the chief executive officer of the Red Hook Boat Club.
The county prosecutor’s office said it had reached an agreement with the three agencies to pay $5.5 million to stop the investigation. The agreement also imposed a one-year restraining order, the county prosecutor’s office said.
The agency officials, who the prosecutor’s office said