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Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx wants DesignLine allegations stricken

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx wants allegations that he once had a no-show job at a defunct bus maker stricken from a lawsuit in bankruptcy court.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx wants allegations that he once had a no-show job at a defunct bus maker stricken from a lawsuit in bankruptcy court. AP

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx wants allegations that he once had a no-show job at a defunct bus maker stricken from a lawsuit in bankruptcy court.

Last August, the trustee liquidating Charlotte-based bus company DesignLine filed suit against Foxx seeking the return of the pay he received as deputy general counsel from 2009 to 2013. The complaint said company documents showed little to no work by the former Charlotte mayor.

In a motion filed last month, however, Foxx says records provided by trustee Elaine Rudisill contradict those claims. These records show “activities and actions” by Foxx as deputy general counsel, as well as interactions with the company’s outside law firms, the filing says.

The motion also says the records indicate Foxx received a gross salary of $309,760 over a 3 1/2-year period, less than the nearly $421,000 alleged in Rudisill’s complaint.

Foxx’s motion asks the court to strike “impertinent and scandalous matter” from the trustee’s complaint, referring to the allegations that he did no work. A hearing is scheduled for May 31 on the motion in federal bankruptcy court in Charlotte.

Foxx has previously filed a motion to dismiss in the case. That request is still pending.

Michael Barrie, a lawyer representing Rudisill in the case, said the trustee intends to file papers opposing Foxx’s motion and her position will be laid out in those documents. Foxx’s attorney, Ross Fulton, declined to comment.

A group led by retired Air Force Gen. Buster Glosson and his son, Brad, bought DesignLine in 2006 and moved it to Charlotte from New Zealand. After struggling financially for years, the company filed for bankruptcy in 2013, costing investors millions and leading to layoffs for a workforce that once reached 250.

As part of the bankruptcy proceedings, Rudisill has been filing “adversarial proceedings” against various defendants, including Foxx, in an attempt to recover more money for the bankruptcy estate.

Foxx joined DesignLine in 2009, after being elected mayor of Charlotte. He stayed at the company until July 2013, when he became transportation secretary under President Barack Obama.

DesignLine’s buses were once a familiar sight at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, but its 10 vehicles were auctioned off in 2014 after years of maintenance problems.

Rick Rothacker: 704-358-5170, @rickrothacker

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