As if you had any doubt that the long-embattled Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority had serious issues, this year the board of the organization went out of its way to make sure everybody knew just how troubled it was. In May, State Attorney Jeff Ashton released more than 500 pages worth of evidence indicating that the powerful people who ran the authority used it as their plaything. They pushed lucrative contracts to friends, held secret meetings at local bars where they came up with plans to take control of the board, and bullied those who didn’t walk in tandem with their plans. Authority board member Scott Batterson was indicted on bribery charges in relation to the report in April, and former state Rep. Chris Dorworth and board member Rebekah Hammond were both indicted for violating the state’s Sunshine Laws. In May, another board member, Marco Peña, resigned from his seat on the board and pled guilty to a misdemeanor in exchange for his testimony about the authority’s malfeasance. Shocked? Don’t be. This kind of thing has gone on at the Expressway Authority practically since it was founded in the 1960s. This year’s antics, however, finally led to its abolishment.
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