• Senate Ousts Transportation Commissioner
  • May 7, 2008
  • Law Firm: Leonard, Street and Deinard, Professional Association - Minneapolis Office
  • In a move many anticipated after the I 35W bridge collapse, the Senate removed Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau from her position as Transportation Commissioner. The 44 20 vote was split along party lines. It was only the third time in more than 50 years that the Senate unseated a state commissioner from the job.

    Molnau has been under constant scrutiny since the bridge collapse for department mismanagement, delayed construction projects and cost overruns including the Wakota Bridge project. Despite being ousted from her job as Transportation Commissioner, Molnau will continue her job as Lieutenant Governor. In a prepared statement, Molnau said being commissioner was one of the best experiences in her life. “It has been my honor and privilege to serve the citizens of Minnesota alongside the dedicated professionals in the department. I am proud of the agency’s accomplishments in increasing infrastructure investment, improving efficiency and advancing innovation,” said Molnau.

    Gov. Tim Pawlenty said that, while he wasn’t surprised by the vote, he was disappointed that the Senate decided to make transportation issues more about partisan politics than about the good of the state. He appointed Bob McFarlin, Molnau’s chief assistant, as acting transportation commissioner until a replacement can be made.