Interim Hillsborough transit chief scores $245,000 permanent contract – Tampa Bay Times

The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority board unanimously approved a full-time contract for interim CEO Scott Drainville Monday, making him the permanent leader of the agency tasked with overseeing public transportation in the Tampa area.

“It’s my honor and privilege to serve the patrons of Hillsborough County, especially the 800+ employees who work day after day to make this run,” said Drainville, who joined the agency in 2018 and has more than three decades of public transportation and fleet maintenance experience.

“We’ve made a lot of progress,” he said, “but there’s much more work to be done.”

Drainville’s base salary will be $245,000 — $5,000 less than the initial salary offered to former chief executive Adelee Le Grand when she was hired in early 2021. Her two-and-a-half-year tenure culminated in a monthslong investigation into her leadership and her salary rose to $287,500.

Adelee Le Grand, former CEO of the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority.
Adelee Le Grand, former CEO of the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority. [ ANGELICA EDWARDS | Times ]

Le Grand was suspended with pay this spring shortly after the Tampa Bay Times revealed HART’s chief customer experience officer had for months also been working for a public transit agency in New Orleans — netting more than $350,000 per year in her combined roles. Working both jobs at the same time was in violation of both agencies’ policies.

The agency’s board greenlit a taxpayer-funded investigation by Tampa-based attorney David Adams, who found Le Grand’s behavior caused poor organization morale, violation of agency policy, “abnormal administrative turnover” and “tremendous disruption.”

She received an $88,000 settlement agreement plus two months of health insurance. Drainville, then the agency’s chief of maintenance and transportation, was subsequently appointed interim CEO in April.

Drainville began his career as a diesel technician in his native Rhode Island. He has since held transit leadership positions in Lubbock, Texas and Washington D.C.

In Hillsborough, he has been tasked with re-establishing trust among bus drivers, riders and state lawmakers, who ordered a study of the agency’s management structure in an effort to improve efficiency and service. The consultant’s report is due to the Florida Department of Transportation at the end of the year.

In a statement, board chairperson and Tampa City Council member Luis Viera commended Drainville’s efforts to bring more transparency to the agency, adding: “He is the right person with the right values and for the right time for HART.”


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