Precourt blasts Expressway Authority after hiring fiasco - FOX 35 News Orlando

Precourt blasts Expressway Authority after hiring fiasco

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ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -

The Board Chairman of the Orlando Orange County Expressway says the allegations made by former State Rep. Steve Precourt are false and motivated by his life as a politician.  When Precourt called the agency "embarrassingly sad," Walter Ketcham had an angry reaction.

"The only thing embarrassing was our attempt to hire him in the first place," said Ketcham.

Ketcham pointed to an audit conducted on the agency and presented to the board in December as proof there is no financial mismanagement at the agency.

"Any allegation that we've got financial problems is so misguided, that it's almost got to be intentional."

The letter also claims that toll payers will have to hand over $58 million to All Aboard Florida as part of a deal to bring train service from Orlando to Miami.  That train will run along right of way owned by the Expressway Authority next to the Beachline.  Ketcham says the complicated deal still needs work, but toll payers will be off the hook.

READ THE FULL LETTER FROM PRECOURT TO THE BOARD HERE

"We are still in the middle of negotiations. It is not a done deal. We expect that our partners between them will pick up the $58 million and it won't cost us a penny."

Precourt also raises concerns that tolls will have to be hiked to cover the agency's debt, something that could still happen.  Still Ketcham says this letter is nothing more than political "self-aggrandizing."

"I see this letter as an attempt to scorch earth on a situation where the man got the job that he was offered, and didn't want it for some reason, at the end got cold feet, and is now trying to make himself look good. What a surprise that a politician does something like that."

Tolls are set to increase again automatically in 2017 unless the Board votes to stop that increase.

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