California High-Speed Rail boss calls it quits

Jeff Morales, who for the past five years has been the chief executive officer in charge of California’s embattled high-speed rail project, announced that he is stepping down as head of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

Morales’ official last day is June 2, but he said he will work with the agency during a transition to new leadership. Morales said he’s been in discussions with the authority’s board for a couple of months on a transitional plan even as the agency has been conducting a recruitment and search for a new chief operating officer.

A database of state employee payroll indicates that Morales was paid an annual salary of $395,000 in 2016.

Morales was hired by the rail authority in May 2012 at a starting salary of $365,000 a year, and he was someone the agency already knew well as a vice president for Parsons Brinckerhoff, the international consulting company that was the authority’s main project management firm on high-speed rail. Morales worked 12 years for Parsons Brinckerhoff.

Morales was head of the California Department of Transportation from 2000 to 2004. Prior to that, he was the executive vice president of the Chicago Transit Authority.

Read the whole story in the Fresno Bee


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