RALEIGH – Secretary of the N.C. Department of Transportation Jim Trogdon has resigned. The resignation comes months after other state leaders called for his removal due to financial mismanagement.
For instance, State Treasurer Dale Folwell called for Trogdon’s resignation months ago. Under Trogdon’s ‘leadership’, the department spending $2 billion more than it had. In order to do that, it seemingly broke the law to borrow millions from the Highway Trust Fund. Later, the funding shortfall caused massive layoffs and project suspensions.
But Governor Cooper couldn’t afford to admit any failures, especially not in response to a Republican like Folwell. Instead, Cooper insulted Folwell and doubled down on his support of Trogdon. It looks like the that support became too much of a burden.
Treasurer Folwell released the following statement following the news:
“My calling for the Governor to replace Secretary Trogdon was never personal. It was, however, about the need for change at the top of an organization that has lost its financial way.
Just last week, the Governor’s Department of Transportation (DOT) asked for another $100 million from the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) to overcome February shortages. This is in addition to the over $2 billion in overspending last year including more than $1 billion taken from the HTF.
On behalf of taxpayers, DOT employees and contractors, we look forward to working with Mr. Boyette to bring DOT out of the multibillion-dollar ditch that it has dug over the last 16 months. Only through an accurate accounting of the money that has been spent, and will be spent, can we ensure a stable road building program while still maintaining the state’s coveted “AAA” credit rating.”
Hopefully the resignation is the first step in cleaning up the problems at the NCDOT. The taxpayers of North Carolina deserve way more respect than they’ve been getting from the Cooper administration.
Unfortunately, the pool Cooper is drawing from are all his own appointments — not a good pool for performance as it turns out. He has appointed the former head of the Department of Information Technology to the position. Perhaps that term will only last until early January 2021.