ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - The Expressway Authority voted
3-2 Tuesday to hire State Rep. Steve Precourt as the new executive director.
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and board chairman Walter Ketcham voted against Precourt due to the issue that he has no experience running a highway operation.
Jacobs and Ketcham were hoping for Jorge Figueredo, a former Expressway Authority employee with experience in running a toll agency.
Precourt didn't attend the meeting Tuesday, but he got the job after board members Noranne Downs, Scott Batterson and Marco Pena voted for him.
Those three board members, however, are at the center of a
state attorney's investigation for an alleged Sunshine Law violation.
In the end, they all voted for Precourt, even though he does not meet the board's requirement of running a highway operation for at least eight years.
Also, a new state ethics law Precourt had voted for prevents him from lobbying state legislators for two years after he leaves the state house.
But lobbying Tallahassee is what Ketcham and Jacobs believe the next executive director needs to do now more than ever, with a big push to expand the Expressway Authority to a regional agency.
The board will vote in two weeks to approve Precourt's $200,000 a year contract. They'll also vote on a new board chairman.