Tough questions for MDOT director

PROBING, CAREFULLY CONSIDERED QUESTIONS should be asked of Mississippi Department of Transportation Executive Director Butch Brown at his Tuesday confirmation hearing before the Mississippi Senate Highways and Transportation Committee.

Brown, a high-profile and often controversial official and former mayor of Natchez, administers MDOT’s decision-making process based on policies and mandates of the elected, three-member transportation commission, but he does so with apparently wide latitude. He is hired by the commission but must be confirmed by the Senate. The executive director serves a four-year term.

The confirmation hearing, which will be run by Senate Transportation Chairman Tom King, R-Petal, only became a scheduled event after Attorney General Jim Hood ruled that Brown and other, similar appointees are subject to reconfirmation after each four-year term expires. The Transportation Commission had not wanted the confirmation process, apparently to avoid the controversy that could be stirred by theirs and Brown’s critics’ questions.

Daily Journal, via American