INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
A top Indiana transportation official under investigation for land sales
that benefited his family is considering taking an executive job at an
engineering firm that bids for state work.
of Transportation Chief of Staff Troy Woodruff is seeking a formal opinion
from the State Ethics Commission on whether he can work at transportation
contractor RQAW. The panel is set to meet Thursday, when it will also
consider a proposed settlement in the ethics case against former Schools
Superintendent Tony Bennett.
Woodruff wrote to
the ethics commission on June 30 asking for approval of a job “screening”
procedure designed to eliminate any appearance of impropriety should he
accept a job with RQAW.
“At this point in
the negotiation process, I am uncertain what all my potential job duties and
responsibilities will entail; however, I would generally oversee
transportation activities,” Woodruff wrote to the panel. A copy of
Woodruff’s request was given to The Associated Press by staff for the ethics
According to the
state’s public contracts search, RQAW has won more than $9.3 million in work
from the state since 1999. State law requires a one-year “cooling off”
period for state workers taking a private sector job doing the same work
they do for the state. However, the ethics commission frequently waives the
cooling off requirement.
Woodruff is under
investigation for land along the Interstate 69 corridor that he and his
family sold to the state. The Indianapolis Star reported last year that
Woodruff, his father and his brother sold a 3-acre parcel to the state in
2010 for 30 percent more than they paid for it three years earlier. The
paper also reported on Woodruff’s efforts to get an important grade-change
approved along the stretch of I-69 running by his family’s property in
Gov. Mike Pence
asked for the investigation last year shortly after the Star uncovered the
Woodruff family’s stake in the sales.
David Thomas declined comment on the status of the investigation. INDOT
spokesman Will Wingfield also declined comment, saying INDOT would wait
until the ethics hearing.