Hampton Roads Transit CEO in crisis

  • Added light rail costs come to light

    Norfolk light rail is over budget, opening delayed to 2011The Commonwealth Transportation Board voted Thursday to spend an extra $20 million on light rail, bringing to light that the project was over budget.
  • Norfolk council learns light rail is over budget

    Most Norfolk City Council members and HRT board members learn of the new costs when contacted by a Virginian-Pilot reporter.
  • Norfolk council demands answers from HRT

    Norfolk council angered by new light-rail cost overrunsFrustrated Norfolk City Council members demand answers from HRT about why the cost of light rail had risen $40 million more than what HRT said a year ago.
  • HRT says costs will be even higher

    Light-rail tab may rise $12M more; HRT delays action on CEOHRT updates its reporting, saying the cost of the starter light rail line could rise to about $340 million, a 47 percent increase over the budgeted $232 million when construction started.
  • Four HRT board members tell Townes to resign

    Resign or be fired, HRT chief is told by 4 board membersFour HRT board members send HRT President and CEO Michael Townes a letter asking him to resign.
  • Councilman introduces resolution calling for Townes' firing

    I won't resign, Hampton Roads Transit chief saysVirginia Beach City Councilman Glenn Davis introduces a resolution calling for HRT to fire Townes. Townes says he will not resign.
  • Townes tells HRT board about theft of $80,000

    Pressure on HRT chief mounts over silence on missing moneyTownes sends a memo to HRT board members about the “possibility of a theft of cash” after receiving a Freedom of Information Act request from The Virginian-Pilot. An audit last year showed $80,000 was missing and three employees were fired.
  • HRT board chairman asks for police investigation

    HRT chairman asks police to probe possible fare-box theftsHampton Roads Transit Chairman Jim Wood asks Virginia Beach police to investigate a possible embezzlement of $80,000 from the agency.
  • HRT board meets to talk about Townes

    HRT head Michael Townes, under fire, agrees to retireHampton Roads Transit's board meets in special session to discuss Townes' future. Townes announces he will retire from the agency on Sept. 30.