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RTA General Manager Joe Calabrese to leave sooner than planned

July 24, 2018

RTA General Manager Joe Calabrese to leave sooner than planned

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Regional Transit Authority board voted today for Joe Calabrese to step down as general manager in September, 18 months sooner than he’d planned.

Calabrese will remain as a consultant until February for the agency, which operates buses and rapid trains throughout Cuyahoga County.

Calabrese’s departure after 18 years on the job comes after a sharp cut in a sales tax source last year and two healthcare scandals this March.

He fired 10 workers for their alleged role in a nationwide scandal involving phony prescription claims. Then board president George Dixon III resigned at the board’s request after allegations that he’d underpaid for years on his RTA healthcare insurance. 

Calabrese said he learned of the underpayments in 2003, ordered staff to resolve them and assumed they’d been taken care of.

William Nix, head of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 268, praised the move. “We jneed to be bringing in new blood.”

The board voted 7 to 1 for Calabrese’s departure, with member Valarie McCall dissenting.

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