Senate Approves Caltrans Chief Despite Concerns

SACRAMENTO (AP) — The state Senate has approved Gov. Jerry Brown’s choice to lead the California Department of Transportation, despite concerns over frequent problems at the agency.

Even supporters of Director Malcolm Dougherty say he has much work to do to improve the department where he has worked since 1992. He has been acting director since 2011.

Sen. Joel Anderson, a Republican from Alpine in San Diego County, called Dougherty “an absolute dismal failure” because of repeated problems. Those include employees falsifying bridge safety reports and media accounts of workers drinking booze while on state time.

But Anderson was the lone voice speaking in opposition.

Republican Sen. Jean Fuller of Bakersfield was among lawmakers saying Dougherty is the right choice to fix the problems.

Senators confirmed the appointment on a 34-3 vote Monday.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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