Neil Peterson had been under fire for spending thousands of dollars without public scrutiny, using a provision that gave him and the agency's chairwoman authority to sign smaller contracts without the authorization of the Transportation Corridor Agencies' board of directors.
Peterson came under criticism in recent weeks after it was revealed that he and Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency Chairwoman Lisa Bartlett were signing off on contracts without taking those contracts to the agency's board.
On Feb. 13, the board rescinded the provision, which had been in place since 2008. The Orange County Register reported the spending earlier this month.
The contracts and change orders approved by Peterson and Bartlett since last year were with three companies: Canyon Strategies, a strategic communications firm; Richard Katz Consulting; and Robert Naylor Advocacy, a lobbying firm, Telles said.
Peterson, who was the head of the now-defunct Los Angeles County Transportation Commission until the early 90s, was dogged by similar criticisms during his tenure with that agency.
The Times reported in 1992 that agency's staff, led by Peterson, came under fire for routinely signing off on change orders without board approval, though agency policy allowed him to do so up to a certain amount.
The Times also reported in 1993 that Peterson, who oversaw the opening of Los Angeles' first modern subway, Metrolink trains and the Blue Line, was criticized after disclosures that he and other agency officials spent nearly $3 million on things as catered lunches, dinners and a Palm Springs resort.
Peterson repaid personal charges that he billed on an agency credit card, according to the report.