FILE – Jerry Benson speaks at a press conference reintroducing UTA’s Route 500 Capitol Connector at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. The former Utah Transit Authority top boss who collected nine months of severance pay under questionable circumstances last year has been given lifetime transit passes for himself and his wife.
Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — The former Utah Transit Authority top boss who collected nine months of severance pay under questionable circumstances last year has been given lifetime transit passes for himself and his wife.
The decision to award the passes to Jerry Benson, who held the titles of president, CEO and general manager when he was fired without cause in April 2018 after 33 years, was made last Wednesday by the UTA board.
“We do want to recognize Jerry for his service in the organization,” Benson’s replacement, outgoing UTA Interim Executive Director Steve Meyer, told the board. “I think this is appropriate but it does require your approval.”
There was no discussion by the three board members before the unanimous vote.
“When it was recommended to us, we thought it was a reasonable thing to recognize his service to the agency,” UTA Board Chairman Carlton Christensen told a reporter later. He said Benson took over “in challenging times and did an admirable job.”
Christensen said because of how Benson’s employment at UTA ended, he “didn’t automatically qualify as other employees would have in the normal retirement process” for the lifetime free passes.
Benson’s termination came after the Utah Legislature approved a sweeping overhaul of UTA that established the new, three-member, full-time board that oversees the day-to-day operations of the transit agency.
UTA officials said at the time they had to let Benson go because his position was eliminated by the new law. But …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Business News