Following a joint meeting of the Valley Metro RPTA and Valley Metro Rail Boards of Directors, action was taken to accept the resignation of CEO Stephen R. Banta and place him on administrative leave, effective immediately. The boards will meet again on Dec. 7 to review a separation agreement.
“It’s time for change in the senior leadership role at Valley Metro,” said Phoenix Councilmember, Valley Metro Rail Board Chair and Valley Metro RPTA Board Treasurer Thelda Williams. “We will work over the next few months to audit records and strengthen policies to ensure our expectations and the expectations of taxpayers are better met into the future.”
Eric Anderson, transportation director with the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), was named acting CEO while an interim CEO decision can be made. An interim CEO selection is expected at the Dec. 17 joint board meeting. In early 2016, a national search will be conducted to find a permanent replacement.
Additionally, the boards instructed acting CEO Anderson to begin the process of hiring a third-party, independent auditor to review financial policies and records, compliance with these policies and recommend any changes. This audit is in addition to the one being undertaken by the City of Phoenix as the region’s designated federal recipient.
“The Valley Metro agency has done incredible work over the last several decades to improve the public transit system for our residents and visitors,” commented Avondale Councilmember and Valley Metro RPTA Board Chair Jim McDonald. “The good work will continue by the staff as we’re expeditious in finding the next chief executive to continue building a system that connects our communities and enhances our region.”