At a special HART Board meeting on Monday, a damning report was presented from the investigation of HART CEO Adelee Le Grand. The report provided evidence of HART being run amuck by Le Grand.
As a result, the HART Board suspended Le Grand with pay until she has an opportunity to respond in May and a final decision about her will be made.
The video of the meeting can be found here.
The presentation begins about 18 minutes into the video. The investigation identified three major issues they found with Le Grand: Lack of effective leadership, Poor organizational morale and Significant turnover.
Investigation findings state Le Grand was abusive, lacked leadership skills, punished those who disagreed with her, intentionally discouraged transparency, failed to perform her responsibilities, withheld information from the Board and handed out costly severance packages that may have violated state law regarding government employees.
The investigation appears to confirm allegations made that HART's work environment was toxic.
This is a headline that appeared on MassTransitMag about Le Grand's focus on "diversity and inclusion" when Le Grand was hired.
"It was evident to the entire board of directors that Ms. Le Grand will rebuild and revision HART by building trust through transparency and respect with employees, customers and the community," said Commissioner Mariella Smith, HART chair, Board of Directors. "As we look to the future, we're confident Ms. Le Grand is the right person to lead HART and create a long legacy of providing the highest level of service equitably and to openly drive Hillsborough County forward."
While HART's attorney David Smith had recommended no action be taken yesterday, the evidence presented was too damning to not take some action.
The HART Board passed a motion to suspend Le Grand with pay and Le Grand's attorney will provide her defense response by the beginning of May. At that time the Board will make a final decision about Le Grand's disposition.
The HART Board also appointed a current Administrator Scott Drainville to be interim CEO.
Le Grand has due process and she will have her opportunity to defend herself against the allegations.
But remember Le Grand had requested a settlement that included ending the investigation with no report ever being provided.
HART's fiscal mismanagement began before Le Grand.
ABC Action News reported in March 2020 that HART spent over $500K on food and travel including hotel stays at the Waldorf Astoria, Four Seasons and the Ritz Carlton.HART's CEO prior to Le Grand, Ben Limmer, only lasted a year before he was under investigation for improper conduct, placed on suspension with pay, was fired and then allowed to resign with a settlement.