Sunset Empire Transit District(SETD) Executive Director Jay Flint has quietly tendered his resignation as the leader of the once embattled public transit district. KAST News learned Monday that Flint handed in his resignation to his board of directors December 12th and is treating it as what the district is terming a "soft" resignation
with the exact departure somewhat flexible. According to sources in the district, Flint is leaving to take a position with a Seaside law firm and has the flexibility to stay on as the district executive director on a part time basis for the next few months. The SETD Board will talk about the process for finding a new leader for the organization and it's likely the position will be listed publically by next week or by the first week next month. Flint stepped into the position after the ouster of former executive director Cindy Howe. The District was in shambles with almost all service curtailed
Howe was indicted on 10 theft counts (four involving cruises) and four counts of Official Misconduct. DA Josh Marquis says Howe secured employment back east and retained two attorneys, one local and another based in Portland. After lengthy negotiations it was agreed that a Guilty/Alford plea would be entered to Count 1 of Theft 1 - with immediate misdemeanor treatment and one count of Official Misconduct. Howe is on bench probation for 2 years, must make restitution for all four cruises to SETD totaling almost $8000 and perform 240 hours of community service in lieu of thirty days in jail. Howe made a statement that her "grasp exceeded her reach" and she was sorry for the problems at SETD. Marquis stated "I spoke last and said that what she gave was not an apology, that she had been greedy and stolen, but my office agreed to this deal because she had been a contributing member of the community with no criminal record and that while the crash of SETD was NOT the result of criminal conduct by Howe, the mismanagement by her and the board had deprived many people of their jobs and people of much-needed public transportation.
Since Flint has held the position the District has worked through the financial issues and re-established some regular routes and connector service to Columbia county which allows local people to make connections to Longview and Portland.