By all accounts, METRO CEO George Greanias is a man whose judgement and character are highly regarded.
But many are asking whether his presence will be a distraction and embarrassment when he returns to METRO on Monday, August 8.
Last week Greanias was suspended for violating METRO’s electronic communications policy. He admitted using his personal computer to log onto adult content websites through METRO’s wi-fi network.
Gilbert Garcia, METRO’s board chairman, says the board stands with Greanias. They want him back to help fulfill the transportation agency’s mission.
However, Bill King, former Kemah Mayor and transportation writer, says Greanias should resign.
Some community leaders have told me privately they are disappointed that the highest ranking official at METRO would make such a terrible mistake.
Mayor Parker has not commented publicly on the scandal, however, a spokesperson says the mayor is aware of the situation and supports the board. Greanias was appointed by Mayor to lead METRO.
Mayor Parker stood with Greanias at a METRO news conference just a few days before the embarrassing revelation. As long as Greanias maintains the support of Mayor Parker and the METRO board, which Parker appointed, we should expect to see Greanias back at work next week.
METRO CEO SUSPENDED ONE WEEK FOR VIOLATING COMPUTER POLICY
METRO President & CEO George Greanias has been suspended for one week, without pay, effective immediately. This disciplinary action followed a METRO investigation that concluded Mr. Greanias violated company guidelines on the use of electronic communications.
METRO’s investigation revealed that while on his personal computer, Mr. Greanias accessed more than one dozen adult oriented sites of a sexual nature through the METRO Internet System. The access violations occurred on 14 days from February 9, 2011 to July 1, 2011.
Normally, the disciplinary action for such a violation is a verbal reprimand. Any subsequent violation could lead to more severe punishment, including termination. METRO Chairman Gilbert Garcia has concluded that, as president and CEO, Mr. Greanias must be held to a higher standard, and decided instead of a warning Mr. Greanias would receive a more stringent punishment of one week suspension, without pay.
Mr. Garcia said, “George Greanias has done an excellent job in the past year and three months turning the agency around and improving transit services, morale, and community relations. However, George must be held accountable and the community must have confidence that the New METRO will be open and transparent.” METRO’s system to investigate this matter worked and there were no attempts to circumvent the procedures put in place to address the violation.
In a letter to employees, Mr Greanias said he made a mistake. As for the punishment,
he said, “I agree with that judgment, and I accept it willingly.”
Greanias is scheduled to return to work as president and CEO on Monday, August 8th.