VRE Chief Resigns

VRE Chief Resigns

<bt>Virginia Railway Express (VRE) CEO Pete Sklannik resigned from his position on Oct. 3, following an investigation into financial irregularities totaling approximately $17,000 worth of questionable and inappropriate expenses over a three-year period. According to information released by Supervisor Sharon Bulova's (D-Braddock) office, who is VRE Operations Board chairman, inappropriate spending and reimbursement transactions included items such as cell-phone used for personal calls; use of a car service instead of a VRE vehicle; travel to and from Union Station and local airports that appeared to be personal; meal reimbursements that appear to have no business purpose; shipping invoices that appear to be personal in nature; and framing and mounting of personal items for display in office.

"We've run a pretty tight ship," said Bulova. "This is not something we condone."

Sklannik disputes these allegations but offered his resignation because the situation has made it impossible for a positive working relationship to continue, according to Bulova. He waived the right he may have to any performance bonuses or severance pay and accrued vacation leave, a total package of approximately $93,000. He stated that his decision not to continue his employment agreement should not be considered an admission as to any of the allegations.

According to VRE spokesperson Mark Roeber, Dale Zehner will be recommended for the position, but ultimately it will be a board decision. Zehner is the former assistant operating officer and at VRE since 1995.

Rail service at VRE was not affected by this move. Thus far, "There has been a seamless transition," Roeber said.