METRO Poised for Management Shake-up

METRO's president Frank Wilson is likely to resign tomorrow afternoon during a METRO board meeting. If that happens — board members will be charged with naming an interim leader. Laurie Johnson has the story.

METRO President and CEO Frank Wilson may leave the agency under a cloud of suspicion. In recent months he has been accused of misappropriating funds, a charge he was later cleared of. He's also under investigation for document shredding.

Those are some of the reasons Wilson is expected to submit his resignation in a closed meeting with board members.

Board Chair Gilbert Garcia won't say whether he expects Wilson's resignation.

"I think Mr. Wilson has done a good job for METRO. I think at this stage we just need to be — or increase our community focus as we begin the construction and complete the construction of the new lines. And so we really need to just earn back the public trust and really work on improving morale."

The board remains tight-lipped on exactly what will happen during the meeting. Board Member Christof Spieler says it's important to remember no decision has been made. But he says METRO needs to be led by someone who
will change the culture of the agency.

"METRO's gotten a reputation for being arrogant and that's not a good thing. And I think you've already seen on the part of the board that there's a real effort to turn that around. But clearly, that does come from within the staff and within the management and we need to — we need to change that attitude."

If Wilson does resign, board members may name George Greanias as interim CEO. Greanias is a former city controller and close associate of Mayor Annise Parker.

"Certainly Mr. Greanias has excellent skills as a CEO to be paired with a chief operating officer who can run the engineering side of METRO. But he has excellent communication skills, he has excellent organizational skills and he understands the communities that are going to be impacted by METRO. So if he is to be named, he would be an excellent choice."

Five of the transit agency's nine board members were appointed by Mayor Parker, who has pledged numerous times to "clean house" at METRO.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...