A top Obama Administration executive at the U.S. Department of Transportation approved a $647 million grant for a California rail project in mid-January. Not only two weeks later, the executive was found working for a Los Angeles-based contractor that was involved with the project that was given that large grant.
Carolyn Flowers, the acting chief of the Federal Transit Administration, approved the letter Jan 18. Thirteen days laters, Flowers went to work for AECOM, which provides program management services to Caltrain as well as being a former regional consultant to the high speed rail project.
"This is exactly what America hates about Washington D.D." says Rep. Jeff Denham in a statement. "Taxpayers deserve transparency and it's time for an audit. Period."
Beyond Flowers, a significant number of former federal officials are working for the high speed rail currently, including former Under Secretary of Transportation Roy Kienitz.
Last month, Republican members of the House wrote a letter last month to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, asking to delay the Caltrain grant until the bullet train's finances can be audited. By next Friday, Chao could execute the grant, kill it or delay it indefinitely.
Original article written by the Los Angeles Times.