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Randy Babbitt resigns

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(AP, ABC7) - FAA chief Randy Babbitt says he will resign after he was arrested over the weekend by Fairfax City police and charged with driving while intoxicated.

Randy Babitt

Babbitt said in a statement Tuesday that he didn't want to allow anything to "cast a shadow" on the work done by his colleagues at the FAA.

Babbitt, 65, of Reston, was taken into custody on Saturday. Police said he was seen driving on the wrong side of the road at about 10:30 p.m. in the 3900 block of Old Lee Highway and pulled him over.

Babbitt was the sole person in the vehicle. He wasn’t involved in an accident.

Babbitt was arrested and taken to the local jail. He was placed on a personal recognizance bond.

Babbitt was on leave from the agency on Monday.

His boss, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, blasted the way he learned of Babbitt's arrest.

"What I told Randy was that I was very disappointed in the way that I learned about this, through a press release from Fairfax County," LaHood said.

Babbitt was a former airline captain and an internationally recognized expert in aviation and labor relations when President Barack Obama tapped him in 2009 to head the FAA.

He was a pilot for the now-defunct Eastern Airlines for 25 years, and had served as president of the Air Line Pilots Association. As head of ALPA in the late 1990s, he championed the "one level of safety" initiative implemented in 1995 to improve safety standards across the airline industry.

At FAA, Babbitt has struggled to implement a wide range of safety initiatives, often over the opposition of industry officials who say the measures would cost too much money.

 

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