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An investigation could lead to the termination of HART's CEO

Adelee Le Grand at the board meeting
Adelee Le Grand at the board meeting

The future of Adelee Le Grand, CEO of Hillsborough's bus agency, could be on the line when board officials meet Monday. One union representative cites a "toxic" work environment.

Board members for Hillsborough County's bus system have authorized an investigation into why a high-level official had been doing the same job — at the same time — for another city.

But it could call the role of the agency's director into question.

The board of the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority — or HART — will launch an investigation into why no one knew one of HART's highest-paid staffers was double-dipping with the public transit agency in New Orleans.

Teri Wright left HART earlier this month, after her simultaneous employment was discovered.

But at a meeting earlier this week, several speakers had HART CEO Adelee Le Grand firmly in their sights.

Ismael Rivera is a representative with the local transit worker's union.

"The members have no confidence in this leadership. And we ask that something be done on behalf of the employees that the agency has hired," Rivera told board members. "We need to get back to the way we were. It's toxic. It's very bad in the workplace."

Brenda Moore is a co-trustee with the Amalgamated Transit Union members at HART. It's the largest labor union representing transit and allied workers in the nation.

"I think that the members of ATU — the workers of HART — deserve better," Moore said. "And they deserve to be treated right and deserve to be able to come to work and feel that it is not going to be a hostile work environment. And that is what has happened."

Le Grand said she welcomes an investigation into why no one knew about her assistant having two jobs.

"I've always said that if there is something that you or anyone can bring that will make us better — that will bring improvements — I welcome it," Le Grand told her fellow board members. "And if this investigation allows us to do that, I welcome that as well."

But it is likely at Monday's scheduled board meeting that her continued employment will also be discussed.

Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.
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