SCDOT Chairman Calls for Mabry’s Resignation

Wed November 08, 2006 - Southeast Edition

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) The leader of the state Transportation Commission has again said if he had the power, he would ask state Department of Transportation (DOT) Executive Director Elizabeth Mabry to resign.

Commission Chairman Tee Hooper has left no doubt he thinks Mabry has done a poor job running the agency that oversees the state’s roads.

The latest spat between the two happened at Oct. 19 commission meeting when Mabry asked members to sign a letter to legislators seeking more money for state roads, DOT spokesman Pete Poore said.

Hooper said he couldn’t sign that kind of resolution because of problems in the agency shown in an audit expected to be released by the end of the year, Poore said.

Hooper also said he would ask Mabry to resign if he had the authority, The Greenville News reported on its Web site.

The commission then went behind closed doors for approximately an hour and a half to discuss personnel issues. They came back into open session and voted on a couple of things that had nothing to do with Mabry losing her job, Poore said.

It’s not the first time Hooper, who was appointed by Gov. Mark Sanford three years ago, has said he wished he had the authority to ask Mabry to quit.

In February 2005, Hooper wrote a letter accusing Mabry of wasting money and lowering morale at the DOT.

A month later, the commission voted 6 to 0 to “publicly acknowledge their support” for Mabry. Hooper only votes if there is a tie.

The complaints did lead to a review of the agency by the Legislative Audit Council. The panel is expected to release its report in the next two months.