Ferries chief finalist withdraws; search begins anew

OLYMPIA — Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson announced today she will restart the search for a new leader of the state ferry system after one of two finalists withdrew.

Peterson said Interim Assistant Secretary George Capacci notified her over the weekend that he was pulling out of consideration.

That left former Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg as the remaining candidate, and Peterson elected to not hire him.

“While John Ladenburg has extensive experience as an elected official managing large government agencies, I have decided to begin a new recruitment process,” she wrote in an email to ferry workers.

Peterson said she based her decision partly on what she heard from employees and community members about what they felt the ferry system needed in a new leader.

Ladenburg, who ran unsuccessfully for state Attorney General in 2008 and state Supreme Court in 2012, has the skills to deal with the politics of the legislative process but less experience on the technical side of ferry operation.

Capacci, who joined Washington State Ferries in 2009, served as the deputy chief in charge of operations and construction until becoming interim assistant secretary when David Moseley retired from the job earlier this year.

He will continue serving as interim ferries chief until a permanent manager is hired, Peterson said.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@heraldnet.com.

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