Members of the Indiana Ethics Commission say they have serious concerns about a senior INDOT official leaving his position to work for a company he’s helped steer state contracts toward.
INDOT Chief of Staff Troy Woodruff is in negotiations to work for RQAW, an engineering firm that does business with INDOT. While he’s working out an employment deal, Woodruff has put in place a screening procedure that ensures he isn’t involved with any state business that deals with RQAW.
The INDOT official went before the Ethics Commission seeking approval for that screening procedure, and while the commission approved it, some members balked at the notion of giving Woodruff approval to work for RQAW.
State rules require a one-year “cooling off” period before state officials can work for companies they regulate or oversee. Woodruff sat on an INDOT selection committee that recommended RQAW receive contracts for several projects.
The INDOT Commissioner can waive the cooling off period. INDOT spokesman Will Wingfield can’t say whether that will happen.
“I don’t know if we can really make that call based upon all the information at this time,” Wingfield says.
On Twitter, State Senate minority leader Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, is criticizing the state’s procedures.
What good is the one year cooling off rule if it repeatedly waived? #INEthics— Senator Tim Lanane (@TimLanane) July 10, 2014
Woodruff has not yet officially sought Ethics Commission approval for his employment with RQAW and wouldn’t answer questions about commission members’ comments, saying only he’s enjoyed working for the state and feels it’s time to move on.