Johnson Finally, Officially, Named CEO of OCTA

The Rancho Santa Margarita man's pronouncement as successor to retiring Will Kempton was delayed last month after a Brown Act violation.

It's finally official for Darrell Johnson, who was formally chosen the chief executive officer of the Orange County Transportation Authority on Monday.

Johnson, of Rancho Santa Margarita, was chosen initially on Nov. 26, 2012, to replace Will Kempton. However, it was determined that the decision made at a special meeting was made in violation of the Brown Act, according to an OCTA spokesman.

On Monday, Johnson's contract was rescinded, he was then reaffirmed as the CEO in waiting and the contract was approved.

He was chosen for the position by a 16-0 count.

from his position at the end of February and Johnson will take over on March 1. He will become the executive director of Transportation California, a nonprofit transportation advocacy group.

Johnson said he's very much looking forward to leading this agency, said OCTA spokesman Joel Zlotnik. "He's happy this is resolved."

Johnson was previously the deputy CEO.

Also during Monday's meeting, Vice Chairman Greg Winterbottom was unanimously selected as the new chairman of the OCTA Board of Directors. Winterbottom replaces outgoing Chairman Paul Glaab.

“I’m honored to be chosen by my peers to lead an agency that is dedicated to enhancing transportation services in Orange County,” said Winterbottom, a Villa Park resident who has served as an appointed member of the 17-person board since 1993. He previously served as chairman in 2004.

In addition to his work on the OCTA board, he is currently chairman of the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC). The MSRC mission is to fund projects that reduce air pollution from vehicles within the South Coast Air District.

Replacing Winterbottom as vice chairman is Director Shawn Nelson, also the Fourth District Supervisor, who joined the board in 2010. Prior to being elected to the Orange County Board of Supervisors, Nelson served as the mayor of Fullerton in 2004-05 and 2006-07. 

Also, sworn in as directors today for the first board meeting of the year were San Clemente Councilwoman Lori Donchak, Anaheim Councilwoman Gail Eastman, Garden Grove Councilman Steve Jones, First District Supervisor Janet Nguyen, Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido and Third District Supervisor Todd Spitzer.


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