U.S. Transportation department executive approved grant days before taking job with rail contractor

By Ralph Vartabedian : latimes – excerpt

A top Obama administration executive at the U.S. Department of Transportation approved a $647-million grant for a California rail project in mid-January and less than two weeks later went to work for a Los Angeles-based contractor involved in the project, The Times has learned.

The grant provides a significant part of the money required to install a $2-billion electrical power system on the Bay Area’s Caltrain commuter rail system, allowing the rail to retire its diesel locomotives.

The power equipment will eventually be used by the state’s bullet train from Los Angeles to San Francisco, making it a critical part of the $64-billion program. The California High-Speed Rail Authority has pledged about $713 million to help install the system, according to state records.

The grant was handled by Carolyn Flowers, the acting chief of the Federal Transit Administration.  Flowers announced the grant approval in a letter, dated Jan. 18,  to congressional leaders. The Times obtained a copy of the letter…

Thirteen days later, Flowers went to work for Aecom, a Los Angeles-based engineering firm. The company news release announcing her hiring says she will head its North American transit practice. Aecom provides program management services to Caltrain for the electrification project, according to Caltrain documents. It was formerly a regional consultant to the high-speed rail project as well.

On Friday, the federal transit agency said it had “deferred” a decision on the grant and said it would look at the matter in the next federal budget cycle. The decision may be an early sign of the Trump administration’s view of the bullet train project. The line is already under construction and will need significant federal funding moving forward.

The delay follows a letter from every Republican member of the California House delegation to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, asking that the grant be put off until an audit of the high-speed rail project is completed.
This is exactly what America hates about Washington, D.C… (more)

Don’t they call this the revolving door?

RELATED:
Carolyn Flowers-letter to congress 
Caltrain and High Speed Rail and FTA funding – Revolving Door Shenanigans

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3 thoughts on “U.S. Transportation department executive approved grant days before taking job with rail contractor

    • I don’t know. The story is running in papers in LA and there are some corruption allegations that are getting attention down there. The Mayor just promised some procedural changes in how their planning commissioners operate. Federal and state courts could look into this especially if the press leans on the story.

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      • She already approved funding 2015,2016 across california way before this story broke. As far as LA mayor if your referring to garcetti he’s part of scag which is equivalent to abag up here. He has his “sustainable development plan” aka same plan as plan Bay Area as the plan is the whole state just broken down by regions aka agenda 21. The planning changes he proposes are pretty much the same as what’s happened in San Francisco and the Bay Area with zoning changes and credits for quicker development and approval. You don’t think they’ve removed traffic lanes for bike lanes created bulb outs and all this stuff in LA? Same crap and he’s not going to do shit.

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