Green Mountain Transit GM Put on Paid Leave Pending Investigation | Off Message

Green Mountain Transit GM Put on Paid Leave Pending Investigation

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Mark Sousa - CHANNEL 17 SCREENSHOT
  • Channel 17 Screenshot
  • Mark Sousa
The general manager of Green Mountain Transit is on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation into a personnel matter.

The GMT board of directors unanimously voted to place Mark Sousa on leave following a nearly two-hour executive session during a special board meeting Monday morning, board chair Tom Chittenden said.

The agency also retained Burlington attorney Nell Coogan to conduct a third party investigation, Chittenden said. Coogan specializes in workplace investigations, according to the website for her firm, Heilmann, Ekman, Cooley & Gagnon.



Chittenden would not elaborate on the nature of the probe, which stemmed from “multiple points of information from a variety of sources,” he said.

WCAX-TV first reported news of Sousa's leave.

The shakeup comes nearly a month after GMT rolled out its NextGen Service Plan to mixed reviews.

GMT also made headlines this summer when a driver forced several Edmunds Middle School students of color off a bus, prompting parents to brand the incident race-based. Sousa said that a review of the onboard bus footage showed the driver broke protocol but didn’t discriminate based on skin color.
Chittenden said Sousa’s leave is unrelated to either of those recent events. He also confirmed that there are no allegations of financial mismanagement.

Sousa has worked for Green Mountain Transit since 2014. He was named general manager in February 2017 after climbing the ladder from operations manager to director of operations to assistant general manager in 2015, according to a GMT press release issued at the time.

Prior to coming to Vermont, Sousa ran the transportation department for the city of Nashua, N.H., and worked in law enforcement in New Hampshire and Florida, according to his company bio on the GMT website.

The GMT board appointed Jon Moore, the agency’s director of transportation, as acting general manager until its regular meeting next week.

“I believe everything is operating as expected,” Chittenden said. “Jon Moore has been with the organization for quite some time, so he’s steadied the ship this week.”

Chittenden said the internal investigation could last anywhere from two weeks to two months.

Sousa could not immediately be reached for comment.

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