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Hillsborough's transit director will keep her job during an investigation

Adelee Le Grand speaks during Monday's board meeting.
Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority
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Adelee Le Grand speaks during Monday's board meeting.

Adelee Le Grand will be allowed to keep her job at HART during an investigation into allegations of creating a "toxic workplace" and that she was unaware a high-level staffer was doing a similar job with another agency simultaneously.

The director of Hillsborough County's transit agency will be allowed to keep her job during an investigation into her actions.

Board members of the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority split on a motion Monday to spend Adelee Le Grand. She has been accused by some employees of fostering a hostile work environment and not knowing a staff member was also working for another transit agency.

Board member and county commissioner Pat Kemp made the motion to suspend her.

"We have complaints about public records," Kemp said. "We have this incredible, repeated turnover of key administration and management staff. We also have repeated allegations of a toxic workplace."

The motion to suspend Le Grand with pay failed by a 6-6 tie vote.

HART board member and Tampa Mayor Jane Castor wanted to keep Le Grand in her job, as long as she pledges not to interfere with the investigation.

"We hired her to change this organization for the better," Castor said. "And I think that we should allow her to continue to do her job with strict instructions to steer clear of this organization."

The investigation into Le Grand should take about two months.

Le Grand said she looks forward to the investigation.

"I have no desire to interfere with the process," Le Grand told board members. "As I've stated before, it is my intention that the process moves forward as quickly as possible."

It will look 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.

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