by Michael Lowrey
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was paid nearly a half-million dollars by a bus company while mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, even though he performed no work for the company, according to a lawsuit filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
The lawsuit was filed in North Carolina by Elaine Rudisill, a trustee for the bankrupt bus company, DesignLine USA. The suit seeks the return of $421,000 that Foxx was paid over four years as the company’s deputy general counsel.
The company’s records do not reflect any work performed by Foxx, according to the lawsuit.
The suit alleges that there was no general counsel for the company, and no evidence that Foxx was in contact with outside lawyers employed by the company. It charges that Foxx spent little or no time at the company’s offices.
Foxx’s function, according to DesignLine head Buster Glossom:
“He was one of the few people in that company that was underpaid,” Glosson said. “They have these big mayors’ conferences once or twice a year, and he would expose the other mayors to this company he had in Charlotte that makes electric buses. We know that he was effective because we got invitations to go give presentations in places where there was no other way we had to get a foot in the door.”
Does any of this come as a surprise? Not really. Why a company like DesignLine with a couple of hundred employees needed a deputy general counsel was always a mystery, unless the purpose of the job was to curry political favor.
Bonus observation: Then there’s the other lawsuit:
The bankruptcy trustee overseeing the liquidation of the Charlotte-based bus maker that once employed U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has filed a wide-ranging lawsuit against former company officials, alleging fraud, violations of racketeering statutes and breaches of fiduciary duty.
The suit filed by trustee Elaine Rudisill accuses retired Gen. Buster Glosson, DesignLine’s former chairman, and his son, Brad Glosson, the company’s former CEO, of working to “pilfer assets” and “siphon monies” from the company, its creditors and its investors.