BELLEFONTE, Pa. (WTAJ) — U.S. Rep Glenn “GT” Thompson is calling on the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary of transportation, Yassmin Gramian, to resign from the position after what he called a “haphazard plan” to toll nine bridges and spending more than $14 million in taxpayer funding in the process.
The Major Bridge Public-Private Partnership (P3) Initiative was struck down by the Commonwealth Court, which ruled that PennDOT violated the law and skirted obligations to transparency and public engagement.
Thompson released the following statement:
“For more than a year, I have voiced my concerns to PennDOT Secretary Gramian that the agency was putting forth an untenable tolling proposal. Along the way, she made it clear through her actions that public engagement was merely an afterthought. This was apparent when she refused to take questions from federal and state legislators at a field hearing last spring in Clarion. Under Secretary Gramian, PennDOT has wasted millions of dollars in taxpayer funds through her quest to impose a new tax upon Pennsylvanians and the traveling public,” Rep. Thompson said. “She has violated both the law and the public’s trust — Secretary Gramian should resign, effective immediately.”
In turn, The Wolf Administration released this statement in response to Thompson’s comments:
“It is unfortunate that Congressman Thompson– who voted NO on the legislation that is now the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law– is wasting taxpayer time and money spewing false claims regarding PennDOT’s public engagement. Instead of playing political games, the congressman’s time would be better spent working on a solution for alternative funding sources that will support Governor Wolf’s desire to phase out Pennsylvania’s gas tax. Pennsylvanians deserve solutions, not pr stunts.”
“Secretary Gramian is an incredible leader and highly-qualified infrastructure expert with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. The governor is proud she serves the commonwealth, and that she will continue to do so.”
Yassmin Gramian has been the Secretary of Transportation for Pennsylvania since she was approved unanimously by the state senate in May 2020.
Responding back, Thompson then released the following statement:
“The Governor’s office is trying to spin the fact that the Commonwealth Court expressly stated in its ruling that there was no meaningful engagement with those who would be affected by the tolls. They’ve lost in court twice and cost the taxpayers millions. The question remains: was it the Secretary or the Governor’s hubris that led to such a massive screw up?”