Corruption in Big Government, High Tax California as Rail Official Investigated for Malefeasance
Article from FLN by FLN Staff.
A top consultant involved in California’s ever-burgeoning high-speed rail boondoggle is now being investigated due to the efforts of Republican state Assemblyman Jim Patterson.
The consultant under investigation is the deputy chief operating officer for the California High-Speed Rail Authority, Roy Hill. Hill, who also worked for the Rail Authority was also employed by the consulting firm WSP, also owned more than $100,000 worth of stock in Jacobs Engineering. The same company that was awarded a 51 million dollar contract by Hill to participate in California’s High-Speed Rail project. Talk about a conflict of interests, as Fox News reported:
“We hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards,” Denise Turner Roth, chief development officer for WSP USA, said in a statement. “We take these allegations seriously, and will cooperate fully with the investigation. Mr. Hill has been temporarily suspended while this matter is reviewed.”
The investigation into Hill marks another setback for the controversial rail project, which California Gov. Gavin Newsom vowed to plow forward with earlier this year – albeit in a reduced capacity.
In his first state of the state address earlier this year, Newsom said he was shelving plans for a high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, and instead moving ahead with a line between Bakersfield and Merced through the state’s agricultural heartland.
The embattled $77 billion bullet train – which had long been championed by Newsom’s predecessor, Jerry Brown – is years behind schedule, with the latest estimate for completion set for 2033. Bullet train planners had been under increasing pressure to make progress on the system that many believe had no plausible way of living up to its goal of getting riders across the state in three hours or less.
As always, when it comes to big government corruption, it’s the taxpayers who suffer most.