Thomas Hawk (via Flickr)
The BART trains will keep running of course, while the board of directors look for a new leader.
BART directors voted 6-3 Thursday to hire former general counsel Sherwood Wakeman to serve as the transit agency's interim general manager until it finds a permanent replacement for Dorothy Dugger, who announced her resignation on Wednesday.
Wakeman joined BART as a lawyer in 1973 shortly after it began passenger service and he became its general counsel in May 1987. He stayed in that position until he retired in July 2007.
He has served as BART's interim general manager on two previous occasions.
Dugger, who joined BART in 1992 and became its general manager in August 2007, said Wednesday that she will step down on April 22. Wakeman will take over the following day and will be paid $160 an hour.
BART said it is giving Dugger, who was its first female general manager, a severance package totaling $958,000.
Dugger's departure had been expected after the board voted 5-4 to fire her at a closed session on Feb. 10.
Board members immediately rescinded their decision after current legal counsel Matthew Burrows said their action was illegal because their meeting agenda only listed a performance appraisal for Dugger, not a possible vote to fire her.
However, the board's vote created uncertainty about whether Dugger would continue to lead the transit agency for the long term.
At the Feb. 10 meeting, board president Bob Franklin, James Fang, John McPartland, Robert Raburn and Tom Radulovich voted to fire Dugger but directors Tom Blalock, Joel Keller, Gail Murray and Lynette Sweet voted to retain her.
At Thursday's meeting, several directors criticized the way the board has handled the matter.
Director Sweet said the situation "is a debacle that we've gotten ourselves into" and "if we had followed our own rules we wouldn't be paying additional dollars to bring someone new in."