Heath Hall, acting chief of the Federal Railroad Administration, resigned Feb. 10 after Politico raised questions about whether he was moonlighting as a PR consultant in Mississippi.
Appointed FRA’s deputy administrator in June, Hall took command of the safety watchdog in January.
Hall has been on extended leave of absence since January due to a family emergency.
Previously, he had run Strategic Marketing Group in Madison, MS, but promised in his financial disclosure forms that FRA “will remain dormant during Federal service.”
Politico reported that Hall’s firm received $12K from the Madison County sheriff’s department from July through December and that his name frequently popped up as a spokesperson for the sheriff’s department.
A Department of Transportation spokesperson said in a Feb. 10 statement that the DOT was unaware of allegations about Hall’s PR ties.
She said it would be “troubling” if the allegations were true.
The FRA, which has a $1.7B budget, is responsible for the oversight of 760 railroads. There were more than 825 railroad deaths in 2017, which was the highest death toll in a decade.