INDOT and State Government and State Agencies and Government & Economic Development and Government

State highway official leaving before review done

July 31, 2014

A top Indiana highway agency official is leaving his position before the release of a report on an ethics investigation into state land purchases that benefited his family.

Troy Woodruff, chief of staff at the Indiana Department of Transportation, sent an email to agency employees Wednesday saying that his resignation would be effective Thursday, The Indianapolis Star reported.

The state inspector general's office has been reviewing Woodruff for land along the Interstate 69 extension corridor in southwestern Indiana that he and his family sold to the state. The Star reported last year on six I-69 deals that paid $1.86 million to Woodruff's uncle and cousins, who then bought other property from Woodruff and his family for more than market value.

Inspector General David Thomas has declined comment on the investigation, but said he planned to publish his findings Friday.

Woodruff, a former Republican Indiana House member from Vincennes, plans to start his own business, highway agency spokesman Will Wingfield said.

Woodruff had in asked the State Ethics Commission in early July for permission to take a job with a state highway contractor without the one-year "cooling off" period required by state law for state workers taking a private sector job in similar fields. The ethics commission didn't act on his request.

Woodruff praised highway department employees in his email and criticized news reports about his involvement in the I-69 land sales.

"I have always lived my life with no regret, but in leaving this agency I do have one and that is the fact I could no longer stay around waiting on a 2nd Internal Affairs Investigation of myself that started in October of 2012 finally come to an end," he wrote.

Woodruff could potentially take a job with a state contractor because Indiana law allows highway Commissioner Karl Browning to waive the cooling-off period.

Wingfield said that Woodruff "is not currently seeking a post-employment waiver from Commissioner Browning."

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