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Home / Neighborhood / Orange County / Tollway chief resigns under pressure of misconduct allegations

Tollway chief resigns under pressure of misconduct allegations

Transportation Corridor Agencies orange county
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The CEO of the Transportation Corridor Agencies, which oversees Orange County’s tollways, has resigned following an internal investigation into allegations of misconduct, officials said Friday.

Samuel Johnson, who has been on paid administrative leave since Sept. 5, resigned effective Nov. 25. he was placed on paid leave when an employee in an exit interview mentioned the misconduct allegations, one source said.

“As soon as we learned of the allegations against Mr. Johnson, we took swift action — placing him on leave before the next business day and brining in an outside firm to conduct a thorough investigation,” the chairs of the agency’s two agencies, Peggy Huang and Will O’Neill said in a joint statement.

Huang oversees the Foothill-Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency, and O’Neill is chair of the San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor Agency.

“This investigation included interviews with numerous individuals and reviews of various types of information,” they added. “Before our boards could act on the findings of the investigation, Mr. Johnson submitted his resignation. The boards took this matter seriously and acted with urgency.”

Huang and O’Neill said the agency maintains a “a strong management team and a deeply committed staff that delivers on our promise of reliable, congestion-free transportation alternatives.”

Valarie McFall, the deputy CEO who has been acting CEO since Johnson was put on leave, will continue to lead the agency while a nationwide search is conducted.

Officials would not disclose details of the allegations of misconduct.

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