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Metro expected to hire interim chief

| Sarles's resume |

Metro's board of director's is expected to select an interim general manager this morning to replace departing chief executive John B. Catoe Jr., who is resigning effective April 2.

The board is expected to select Richard Sarles, former chief of New Jersey Transit, who retired from that job in January after a new governor took office and appointed someone to replace him.

The Post first reported Tuesday that Metro's board was in negotiations with Sarles.

The selection of an interim general manager is listed as the fourth item on the board's agenda for Thursday's meeting.

Metro sources have said that Sarles is expected to make an appearance at the meeting. Public details of his contract will also be available then.

The interim general manager is expected to serve for six to 12 months while the board of directors conducts a national search for a permanent replacement.

However, the interim chief will face substantial challenges as Metro struggles to close a $190 million budget gap for the fiscal year that begins July 1 and faces increased scrutiny in the wake of a series of fatal accidents and safety lapses over the last few months, including the June 22 Red Line crash that killed eight passengers and a train operator. Prior to the anniversary of that accident, the National Transportation Safety Board is expected to issue a formal finding into the cause of that accident and make recommendations for corrective actions.

No one wants more crashes, delays or derailments, but we want the new chief to get a good sense of just what it is about the system's decline that most troubles riders. So if you have suggestions for problems you want him to fix or agenda items that you want him to tackle, weigh in.

Use the comment board at the end of this post to add your voice or send us an e-mail.

By Michael Bolden  |  March 4, 2010; 7:14 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Metro , Safety  | Tags: Metro board, metro, metro safety  
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