OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Bay Area Rapid Transit General Manager Dorothy Dugger submitted a letter of resignation Wednesday after getting a nearly $1 million payout to leave the agency.

The resignation was expected after a majority of the transit agency’s board of directors recently voted behind closed doors to fire her, but the embattled Dugger receiving $958,000 to quit her post was a public surprise.

That amount included the $600,000 cost of Dugger’s severance package if she had been terminated, plus $350,000 to “ensure a smooth transition and avoid any litigation between the parties,” BART board members said in a statement.

In a Feb. 10 closed session of the board, members immediately rescinded their decision to fire Dugger after BART’s legal counsel said their action was illegal because the meeting agenda only listed a performance appraisal for Dugger, not a possible vote to fire her.

Because there was the potential for a lawsuit against the board, a four-member committee discussed and reached a settlement with Dugger to resign, according to board members.

Dugger, who has served as the agency’s general manager since August 2007 and has been with BART for 19 years, will officially step down on April 22. She was the first woman to hold the top post.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

The board will hold a special closed session on Thursday to discuss the search for Dugger’s replacement and consider naming an interim general manager.

BART Board President Bob Franklin said he hoped that the search for a permanent general manager would begin soon but it may take up to five months or more to hire someone.

BART Director James Fang, who was first elected in 1990 and is the board’s longest-serving member, said one person who had been suggested to be the interim general manager is former BART general counsel Sherwood Wakeman, who retired in July 2007.

Franklin, Fang, John McPartland, Robert Raburn and Tom Radulovich voted to fire Dugger at the Feb. 10 meeting.

The directors who voted to retain her were Tom Blalock, Joel Keller, Gail Murray and Lynette Sweet.

Franklin declined to say Wednesday why he voted to fire Dugger, saying only that he wanted to thank her “for her tireless work and lifelong dedication to public service.”

Fang said, “Everyone recognizes the hard work she’s put in for the transit district over her 19-year career. I’m appreciative of her work and wish her well in her next career.”

Raburn simply said, “Dorothy has been very gracious in her resignation.”

Dugger was unavailable for comment, but she said in a statement issued through BART, “I am extremely proud of all that we have achieved and BART’s strong record of accomplishment.”

Dugger said, “It has been a challenging, exciting and professionally rewarding experience to lead a great organization that provides a vitally important service to the people of the Bay Area every day.”

Dugger worked as BART’s executive manager for external affairs for two years after joining the transit agency in September 1992 and then served as deputy general manager, the agency’s second-ranking job, for 13 years before being appointed general manager on Aug. 23, 2007.

She is BART’s eighth general manager having served in that role for the past four years.

Dugger grew up on a chicken farm in Alabama. After college she worked in the environmental protection field in Washington, D.C., and as governmental affairs director for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey before coming to BART.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

Comments (15)
  1. brian says:

    Now we know where are fare increases go, what a joke.

  2. BARTful Dodger says:

    Wait a minute. If I get fired, I don’t get a severence package. If I’m laid off, I do. If I’m forced to resign, isn’t that more like being fired than being laid off?

    “You’re doing a lousy job. Leave. And here’s a million dollars so you won’t cause any trouble.”

    For some, life is so good.

    1. jon says:

      Become an executive somewhere instead of a peon nobody worker bee, u loser, and maybe u can negotiate a contract with ur employer in the future. oh yeah, u have no real college credentials and ur corporate boss knows u need that going nowhere office job more than the company needs u, so u r in no position to negotiate. u loser

  3. jc says:

    Yeah. perform porly and still get paid. Its inline with how these public agencies operate. Just like bart riders pay but gets poor service. Hey they really do practice what they preach.

  4. Haris says:

    Rediculous!, Ugh!

  5. posavea says:

    …sounds like dirty business here. 4 men against one woman = $958,000

  6. Patty Tanco says:

    Maybe I should work for Bart…..

  7. Dorothy Dugger says:

    Now I can buy my Bentley and a mansion on your expense. Nothing you peon can do anything about it.

  8. Akgale says:

    Dorothy Dugger did the best job she could with the resources she had. It is quite difficult to work for a Board of Directors who represent the diverse Bay Area community. She was the first female GM for the agency which is quite an accomplishment.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Watch & Listen LIVE