Deputy DOT Secretary Kirk Van Tine has submitted his resignation effective December 31, leading to speculation that his boss, Secretary Norman Y. Mineta, may soon leave his post as well.
Eight of the 15 members of George Bush's Cabinet have already tendered their resignation, and Mineta, the cabinet’s only Democrat, is waiting to hear from the President, according to DOT officials.
As of this morning, Mineta did not have a visit with the President on his calendar. Although it is widely expected that Mineta will leave before Bush ends his second term, he may wait until Congress passes the six-year highway appropriations bill.
Van Tine, who is returning to the private sector, was instrumental in demanding that FedEX return about $32 million of $101 million it received from the federal government, because it had not lost as much as it claimed due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
When Mineta announced Van Tine’s appointment six months ago, FedEX took the unusual stance of publicly opposing the nomination. Mineta said at the time that FedEx’s position was a “miscalculation” and that Van Tine, who had been DOT’s general counsel and in charge of overseeing 9/11-related distributions to airlines, was a “consummate professional.”