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Federal Railroad Administration acting chief resigns- had been working outside PR job
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: February 10, 2018 02:36PM
'There's been another Amtrak wreck!'
"Don't bother me, I'm busy"

Railroad agency's acting chief resigns amid questions about his employment
02/10/2018 01:09 PM EST
A top official charged with overseeing the safety of U.S. railroads has resigned "effective immediately," the Department of Transportation said Saturday after POLITICO raised questions about whether he had been simultaneously working as a public relations consultant for a sheriff's department in Mississippi. Heath Hall became the Federal Railroad Administration's acting administrator in June but subsequently appeared on at least two occasions in Mississippi media reports as a spokesman for the Madison County sheriff, in a community where Hall has long run a public relations and political consulting firm. The firm continued to receive payments from the county for its services from July to December, despite his pledge in a federal ethics form that it would remain "dormant" while he worked at DOT.

A former FRA employee also told POLITICO this week that she had fielded at least three requests from a Mississippi TV journalist seeking to speak with Hall last summer — a period when Hall was in charge of an agency that oversees a multibillion-dollar freight rail industry and the safety of millions of train passengers. “We were unaware of the information that is being reported but those allegations, if they are true, are troubling," DOT spokeswoman Marianne McInerney said in a statement Saturday. She added, "Heath Hall has resigned his position at the Department effective immediately.” Attempts to reach Hall were unsuccessful.

Hall had already been placed on an extended leave of absence last month due to what the FRA has described as a family emergency. Saturday's news came after POLITICO raised additional questions about Hall's activities in Mississippi. The news comes at a time of strain for the FRA, which hasn’t had a permanent leader for more than a year while it investigates a string of fatal train crashes and deals with a rising trend of rail-related deaths.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/10/2018 06:25PM by Steve G..
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Re: Federal Railroad Administration acting chief resigns- had been working outside PR job
Posted by: gabester
Date: February 10, 2018 08:25PM
While we're at it, charge any and all members of congress who voted to allow railroads to delay implementing Positive Train Control through 2018 as accomplices to manslaughter for each and every death in the recent Amtrak crashes. Charge the companies' execs with manslaughter. This guy should have been spearheading that effort instead of watering his own trough.
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