First, John Kasich announced that Bob Taft’s former budget director, Tim Keen, would resume that role in his Administration.
Today, the Dispatch (which seems to curiously consistently gets the exclusive on Kasich’s Cabinet appointments while being conspicuously silent on any criticism of Kasich’s on transparency) is reporting that Jerry Wray, George Voinovich’s ODOT director, will resume that position as well.
If you’re wondering why the Governor-elect didn’t consider Taft’s former ODOT Director Gordon Proctor, here’s probably a big reason why.
Let’s not also forget that under Taft, ODOT had a little strippers-for-contracts scandal in NEO.
Wray wasn’t without some controversy as well. During his tenure as ODOT director, Wray enacted a number of policies that favored the use of asphalt over concrete for roadwork. When he left ODOT, Wray became the Vice-President of Government Relations for Flexible Pavements of Ohio, a trade association for… you guessed it, asphalt pavement contractors. In other words, Wray became their lobbyist. Lobbying the very agency he once lead.
The Ohio Concrete Construction Association (OCCA) filed a complaint with the Ohio Inspector General’s office who concluded in 2004 that Wray had committed no wrongdoing. A copy of that report was not locatable on the Internet.
Other than that, I’m not aware of any other potential blight on Wray’s record. But given the choices between Wray and Proctor, I guess Kasich figured it was better to go with Wray even though he hasn’t been involved within ODOT in nearly twelve years.
Still, doing GOP retreads of prior Administration is hardly a way of introducing a “New Way” in Ohio, is it?