The Metro board has voted to settle the Lloyd Kelley lawsuit that spawned a wild series of tales of the agency shredding paperwork.
No details of the settlement were released, but the agency took pains to note how quickly a new board chairman had taken action on the matter.
Today's meeting marks the fifth time the Board has met since being sworn in April 7th, less than two months ago. Chairman Garcia has made clear he plans to move swiftly to restore public trust and confidence in the agency. One of the new Board's first major actions was to negotiate the departure of Frank Wilson on May 7th and replace him with Acting President and CEO, George Greanias. Other actions taken to reform the agency include adoption of a new records retention policy and new e-mail management strategy.
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It's clear Metro is trying hard to put a new face on its operations. "Closing the chapter on this lawsuit will help Metro staff focus more intensely on building a great public transit system for our customers and those we want to attract as riders," Greanias said. "We know what our priorities are -- restoring public trust and confidence, accelerating construction on five new light rail lines, and enhancing bus service -- and we're pursuing them with a renewed sense of commitment and purpose."
The agency also made clear that it didn't illegally shred any documents, according to them and an investigation done internally.
"The conclusion I expect to see in the Agreed Final Judgment is that there was no evidence of document destruction related to the plaintiff's Open Records request," said Metro Chairman Gilbert Garcia following today's meeting. Metro's own internal investigation reached that same conclusion. "Going forward as the new Metro, the public can place even greater confidence in METRO as we embrace transparency and openness as the right way of doing the public's business."
The proposed settlement still has to be signed by Kelley and approved by the court.