The Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority last week hired an interim executive director who currently works for a consulting firm that has contracts with the agency.

The board agreed to hire Max Crumit, a civil engineer and senior vice president who works for Jacksonville-based RS&H, which is affiliated with Reynolds, Smith and Hills CS Inc.

RS&H currently has a $2.8 million contract with the Expressway Authority.

Crumit said he would resign from the company to become the agency’s director, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

The expressway board will negotiate a salary with Crumit, who will not be allowed to apply for the permanent director’s position after the authority conducts a national search.

Crumit will replace Mike Snyder, who is resigning the post Dec. 30.

Snyder, a seven-year veteran of the agency, was forced to resign recently after Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, an Expressway Authority board member, blamed Snyder for the agency’s heavy exposure to variable-rate debt, and said he was deceptive on other matters as well.

Meanwhile, Moody’s Investors Service last week upgraded its long-term rating to Aa1 from Aa3, and affirmed VMIG-1 ratings on the Expressway Authority’s 2003C-1, 2003C-2, and 2003C-4 variable-rate refunding bonds, and affirmed the Aa3/VMIG-1 rating on the Series 2003C-3 bonds due to the elimination of a standby bond purchase agreement with troubled Dexia Credit Local.

Credit support for the $408 million of bonds was replaced with direct-pay letters of credit from JPMorgan, Bank of America NA, and TD Bank NA.

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