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Virginia transportation department gets permanent chief

Rosalind Helderman

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) appointed heads of two top state agencies Friday, naming Gregory Whirley commissioner of the Virginia Department of Transportation and Major Gen. Daniel Long adjutant general of the Virginia National Guard.

McDonnell had been looking for an outsider to head VDOT, conducting a major national search for the job. Instead, he has settled on Whirley, who has worked for VDOT since 1988 and has been serving as acting commissioner.

A certified public accountant, he has also previously served as VDOT's chief deputy, acting chief financial officer and inspector general. His appointment was first reported by the Richmond Times Dispatch, which reported he will be VDOT's first black commissioner.

Long has served in the Virginia National Guard since enlisting as an 18-year-old private in 1964. He's held numerous command positions in the guard. His appointment comes after McDonnell declined to reappoint Air Force Maj. Gen. Robert Newman, who had worked for a company run by a subordinate. Newman said officials in Gov. Tim Kaine's administration had signed off on the arrangement.

McDonnell made other appointments Friday too, including naming Northrop Grumman shipbuilding executive Robert Leber a special advisor for workforce development and deputy commissioner of the Virginia Employment Commission. He also named new visitors to several colleges and universities, notably appointing Susan Allen--wife of former Governor and Sen. George Allen (R)--to the board of James Madison University.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  July 9, 2010; 1:49 PM ET
Categories:  Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman , Transportation  
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