Today, the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) authority board voted to immediately terminate CEO Ben Limmer after a whistleblower complaint led to a three-month investigation, and found he violated eight agency policies.
Limmer was hired in March and after running HART for just seven months, a whistleblower complaint was filed accusing the CEO of violating procurement processes and acting improperly with vendors. On Nov. 4, the board voted to place him on paid leave, and hired the law firm Carlton Fields to conduct the investigation.
Last Sunday, the firm submitted a 76-page report to board members, which outlined eight violations of agency policies, including giving a contractor unfair advantage on a massive contract and misusing a company purchasing card. The report also said Limmer used an agency credit card to purchase two meals for his son as well as $500 on a Kuerig and coffee-related supplies.
The board came to their decision Friday after listening to presentations from Carlton Fields and from Limmer’s attorney, Ryan Barack, and chose to fire the CEO at a vote of 11-1, reports the Tampa Bay Times. Board member Marvin Knight was the only opposing vote.
You can read the full Carlton Fields report here.