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MDOT Director Should Resign

July 23rd, 2010 Comments off

Today Mississippi Business Journal reporter Clay Chandler broke the news that the executive director of the Mississippi Department of Transportation was arrested at the Beau Rivage casino in Biloxi for public drunkenness.

Larry L. “Butch” Brown Sr. didn’t just publicly embarrass himself and disgrace the state of Mississippi. He followed his misdemeanor with lying to an MBJ reporter, denying that the incident occurred.

Brown should resign. Our public officials should be held to a high standard of conduct.

Brown was appointed to his MDOT position by the three Mississippi Transportation Commissioners. He was confirmed by the state Senate in 2009. He has three years left before his term expires. Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall opposed Brown’s appointment.

The three Commissioners can vote to terminate Brown at any time with a majority vote. It’s time they do that.

About Larry L. “Butch” Brown Sr.

As executive director of the Mississippi Department of Transportation, Brown has full and general supervision over administrative and technical matters relating to airport and port development, highway construction and maintenance, weight enforcement, public transit, and rail safety.

At the national level, Brown is president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).

Brown is the former mayor of Natchez, serving in that position from 1992–2000. A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with degrees in management and marketing, he served in the school’s department of marketing and management as an instructor for seven years. After leaving USM he continued his business ventures in the areas of transportation, warehousing, real estate, wholesaling, and the hotel trade. He has served on the Executive Board of Directors of the Mississippi Business Finance Corporation, White House Conference on Small Business, the U.S. Department of Commerce–Industry Sector Advisory Committee on Trade Policy, and was a member and former chairman of the Mississippi Louisiana Bridge Authority responsible for funding construction of the new Natchez/Mississippi River Bridge.

Awards received by Brown include the Governor’s Golden Glove; the Mississippi Volunteer of the Year Laureate; the 1996 and 2000 NLC City Cultural Diversity Award; INC. Magazine’s INC. 500 Award, which recognizes the fastest growing privately held corporations in America; and during Brown’s service as mayor, Natchez received several times the Most Livable Community Award given by the Mississippi Municipal Association.

Brown is married to the former Shields Godfrey and is the father of three children, Larry L. Jr., Coyle Sessions, and Caroline (deceased). He is a member and former deacon of the First Presbyterian Church in Natchez.

Biographical information obtained from AASHTO.