Patterson Requests Ethics Investigation, HSR Official Suspended

A top High Speed Rail official is in hot water after a complaint from a state assemblyman triggers an ethics investigation.


FRESNO (KMJ) – A state watchdog agency is investigating a consultant on the California bullet train project for approving a multi million-dollar change-order benefiting a company in which he had had a big financial interest, and he’s been suspended because of the probe.
“We are spending billions, and all we get are delays and slow speed rail,” Patterson said. “Something inside is really wrong.”
Assemblyman Jim Patterson asked the Fair Political Practices Commission to launch the investigation into Roy Hill’s actions and holdings.
Hill is the Deputy Chief Operating Officer for the High Speed Rail Authority, and a senior executive at the lead consulting firm WSP. Hill signed off on a $51 million change-order for a construction team led by the Spanish company Dragados.
It happened in the same year he may have owned more than $100,000 of stock in another consulting company, which is part of Dragados.
“This is such a deep conflict that it calls into question whether the entire High Speed Rail Authority and the contractors they have put together are involved in a massive corruption,” Patterson said.

Reported by Clint Olivier.