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RTA BOARD MEMBER RESIGNS - CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Submitted by jerleen1 on Wed, 01/12/2011 - 13:18.
PD fileCuyahoga County Council member Julian Rogers says he will resign from the trustees board at the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority.
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A Cuyahoga County Council member says he will resign from the RTA board of trustees to avoid any conflict in serving on the two public bodies.
As late as Monday, Councilman Julian Rogers had hoped to continue on the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority board, where he served since 2006. He was recently reappointed to a three-year term by outgoing county commissioners.
But Rogers said several issues raised in talks this week with the county prosecutor's office and RTA's top lawyer prompted his resignation.
One dealt with County Council's potential influence over RTA's largest source of money, a 1 percent countywide sales tax, Rogers said.
Any adjustment of the tax would go to a countywide vote. County Council would vote to place it on the ballot, placing Rogers in direct conflict.
RTA's general counsel, Cheryl King Benford, also raised issues regarding Rogers' dual public roles, he said. She could not be reached for comment.
Rogers said he is disappointed his RTA service is done. He had recently asked RTA to suspend his $4,800-a-year pay as a board member and contributions to a state employees' retirement system, so he would not be receiving compensation from two public jobs.
He's paid $45,000 a year as a county councilman.
"I'll still be a supporter of public transit and will do all I can to help grow RTA in my new capacity," Rogers said.
This story was on Cleveland.com - written by Tom Breckenridge for the PD
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