Ct's Director Resigns

LYNNWOOD - Hours after auditors delivered a scathing indictment of his management style, Community Transit Executive Director Ken Graska resigned.

The auditors reported the results of their two-month review of Community Transit management to the board of directors on Monday. Graska said today that he voluntarily resigned Monday evening. His resignation is effective Friday.

In the report, Moss Adams Consulting characterized Graska as autocratic and intimidating, over seeing a group of department heads who lack assertiveness or confidence in their boss.

The result is a politically charged workplace in a state of "paralysis," said the consultants. Graska, as well as some department heads, should be replaced or retrained, the consultants said.

The audit was ordered in August in response to a federal grand-jury investigation into allegations of kickbacks and bribes involving bus transmission repairs. Former Maintenance Director Michael Lynn, who quit in August, has admitted accepting gifts from an Everett transmission shop.

Graska, 40, called the audit unfair and inaccurate. "It was very one-sided. . . . There was a definite agenda. . . . There were very many items that were not totally accurate. . . . And I'm not speaking just for myself, I'm speaking for the entire organization," Graska said.

Graska said his resignation was not directly related to the report. "Aside from the management report, I was personally reaching

a point where I wanted to make some decisions about what I wanted to do in the future," he said.

Graska called his resignation a "friendly situation." He said there were no hard feelings and that he still had a positive relationship with the board of directors and his senior managers.

Graska said he will take some time to rest, spend time with his family and do some recreational activities before making further career choices. "I have to decide if I will stay in the public sector or in transit. Transit is my love, I've been in it for 17 years and will probably stay in it one way or another," he said.

In an executive session Tuesday afternoon, the board discussed the particulars of Graska's severance package, he said. Final approval of that package will be made next week.

Graska led Community Transit for nine years. He previously served as general manager of the Tulsa Transit System. He is also a Mill Creek City councilman, but his term will expire the end of this year.