Osceola Commissioner Brandon Arrington has touted transit upgrades he's helped bring to Osceola County.
But last week, attorneys at MetroPlan Orlando reviewed serious questions about Arrington's ethics after he took a private job with the same company his public board had just awarded a big contract
"It does stink, because as an elected official and member of multiple boards in our community, this is the kind of person who should know better,” said County Watch's Mike Cantone.
Arrington, who is chairman of MetroPlan, is now being paid by Quest Corporation for his day job, while MetroPlan is set to pay Quest for consulting work.
MetroPlan said Arrington never indicated employment at Quest was a possibility.
The agency awarded Quest a $110,000 contract in October to help develop long-range transportation planning ideas.
Once MetroPlan learned of Arrington's new relationship with Quest, it froze the company’s contract.
Attorneys said they found Arrington did not break laws, because he wasn't yet a Quest employee when the contract was approved.
But critics said it’s symptomatic of a political revolving door.
“Sadly, this is the just another example of the growing culture of personal gain over public service we're finding here in Florida,” said Cantone.
Late Thursday, after WFTV’s inquiries, Arrington said in a statement he was stepping down from his post at MetroPlan and other local transportation agencies.
“Recently questions arose about possible conflicts involving my new job and the boards I serve on,” Arrington said in his statement. “Multiple legal reviews by the agencies found no conflicts."
"However, in order for this to keep from becoming a distraction to the important work these agencies are doing for Osceola county and central Florida residents, and to give other Osceola county commissioners an opportunity to serve, I am removing myself from MetroPlan Orlando, the Central Florida Commuter Rail Commission governing board, and the Lynx board of directors,” Arrington said in his statement.