Valley Metro Pays Former CEO $180K To Settle Lawsuit

By Al Macias
Published: Thursday, September 22, 2016 - 6:08pm

 Valley Metro has agreed to pay its former CEO $180,000 to settle a lawsuit. The transit agency fired him earlier this year for questionable expenses.

Stephen Banta will receive the payment in exchange for dropping his $1.7 million wrongful termination suit.  A state attorney general’s investigation accused Banta of spending more than $250,000 in unallowable expenses.

The city of Phoenix is one of multiple cities that oversees Valley Metro.  Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio said taxpayers should not have to pay.

"Every individual who was involved in writing this contract, every individual who didn’t do the oversight that they were required to do and every individual who voted for this needs to pay the money," DiCiccio said. "The politicians are getting off on this thing and the public is getting stuck with the bill."

The settlement with the Valley Metro board also calls for Banta to repay $125,000 for unallowed and undetermined expenses during his employment.