The head of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority is out five months after he was placed on paid administrative leave for undisclosed reasons.
Charles Odimgbe has severed his relationship with RIPTA, according to a tersely written press release issued by the transit authority’s board. The decision to end his employment was mutual, according to the statement.
Odimgbe had served as chief executive officee of the bus agency a little over two years. He was placed on paid administrative leave in August when the authority was taken over by a team appointed by the governor. The team’s appointment was prompted by the discovery that a security camera had been covered in an office where bus fares are handled
According to a separation agreement between Odimgbe and RIPTA, Odimgbe’s last day with the agency was December 27th. He will receive a severance payment of $130,000 plus compensation for any unused sick or vacation time.
Odimgbe was never implicated in any wrongdoing, but RIPTA board chair Scott Avedisian says it became increasingly clear it was time for new leadership.
“We started having discussions about where we all thought we needed to go and as those discussions kept going it just seemed like now was the time to say ‘all right. Let’s separate,’” says Avedisian. “We all have things that we want to do and it’s time to go do them.”
The separation agreement states that neither party is guilty of wrongdoing. But it also gives RIPTA the discretion to hold Odimgbe responsible for any criminal wrongdoing committed by him. A state police report on the covered up camera is expected within a month.
Read the Statement:
"The RIPTA Board of Directors and Mr. Charles Odimgbe have mutually agreed to end their employment relationship. Mr. Odimgbe has served as the Chief Executive Officer of RIPTA since December of 2010. On behalf of each member of the Board and our entire organization, RIPTA wishes to acknowledge the accomplishments that Mr. Odimgbe has achieved during his tenure as CEO, and thanks him for his service to the Authority."
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