Orange County Transportation Corridors Agencies head resigns after investigation into alleged misconduct

The Transportation Corridor Agencies' chief executive, Samuel Johnson.
(Transportation Corridor Agency)

The head of Orange County’s Transportation Corridor Agencies resigned Friday following an investigation into “serious allegations of misconduct,” according to authorities.

Samuel Johnson, who took up the roll of TCA chief executive in 2020, had been on paid administrative leave since Sept. 5, when the investigation began. The TCA, created in the 1980s by the union of two joint powers authorities, operates 420 miles of toll roads in Orange County, financed by toll-revenue bonds.

The organization has an annual budget of about $400 million.


“As soon as we learned of the allegations against Mr. Johnson we took swift action — placing him on leave before the next business day and bringing in an outside firm to conduct a thorough investigation,” according to a statement by the chairs of the TCA’s two agencies, Peggy Huang of the Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency and Will O’Neill of the San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor Agency.

Johnson resigned before the agencies could act on their findings and a news release about his resignation offered no details into the allegations of misconduct.

The agencies said only that the investigation included “interviews with numerous individuals and reviews of various types of information.”

Johnson had been at the TCA since 2015, working as a chief toll operations officer.