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O.C. Transportation Authority Gets New Exec

Following a contentious battle, California’s Orange County Transportation Authority appointed Darrell Johnson as next chief executive officer to the billion-dollar public agency,  the Voice of O.C. news site reported.

County supervisors who have been battling OCTA staff over recent decisions also questioned elements of Johnson’s contract.

County Supervisors John Moorlach and Pat Bates voted in favor of the appointment, but against the contract, according to the report.

Moorlach, Bates and the other county supervisors are among OCTA’s directors.

Under the agreement, OCTA will pay both the employee and employer contributions for Johnson’s severance package and pension provision under the contract which runs through Sept. 1, 2015. His annual salary will be $255,000.

The contention was primarily caused by allegations that approval of Johnson’s appointment during a special board meeting was a violation of the state’s open meeting laws.

The supervisors backed Johnson, who was second in command at OCTA, despite their concerns about transparency between staff and the board and about some agency policies, such as what some supervisors described as excessive spending on projects like the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center, according to the report.

Johnson will assume his new responsibilities when the current chief executive officer, Will Kempton, steps down Feb. 28.

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