MTA's Joe Lhota to resign; expected to run for mayor - New York News

MTA's Joe Lhota to resign; expected to run for mayor

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UPDATE: Joseph Lhota, the chairman and chief executive officer of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, will resign at the end of the year, according to a statement from the MTA.

Lhota has submitted his letter of resignation to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. His resignation is effective at the end of the day on December 31, 2012.

The former deputy mayor will have officially served as chairman and CEO for less than a year. Cuomo appointed him in October 2011, he assumed leadership duties as executive director on November 14, 2011, and was confirmed by the Senate as chairman and CEO on January 9, 2012.

Lhota, a Republican, is expected to run for mayor in 2013.

The New York Times on Tuesday first reported Lhota's plans.

The MTA board voted to elevate member Fernando Ferrer to vice chairman. When Lhota steps down, Ferrer, a former Bronx borough president, will assume the duties of acting chairman of the board until the Senate confirms the governor's nominee.

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EARLIER REPORT: MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota guided the agency through Superstorm Sandy, the worst natural disaster in New York City's transit history. He was praised for getting subways and buses back up and running within one week after the storm.

Now Lhota is stepping down to run for mayor, according to a New York Times report.

Lhota has already notified Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who appointed him to his current post just over a year ago. He is expected to officially resign Friday and then put in his bid as the Republican candidate.

But some say he could have a tough go of it because democrats outnumber republicans more than 6-to-1 in New York City. With that said, the mayoral seat has not been filled by a Democrat for 18 years.

A former deputy mayor under Rudy Giuliani, Lhota, 57, and his agency received high marks after sandy. A Qunnipiac poll shows that 75 percent of voters described the MTA's storm response as "excellent" or "good."

Before taking over the MTA, Lhota was executive vice president for the Madison Square Garden Company.

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