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Ousted BART director is reinstated

BART District 7 director Lateefah Simon
Howard Dycoff
Flickr / Creative Commons
BART District 7 director Lateefah Simon

In a joint statement, BART Board President Rebecca Saltzman and General Manager Bob Powers said they consulted with an attorney outside of the transit agency after Simon was stripped of her seat earlier this month.

According to Saltzman and Powers, a vacancy can only be declared by a majority vote by the BART board or a court order, while BART staff members do not have the legal authority to declare a seat vacant, as they did with Simon's seat representing parts of San Francisco, Contra Costa and Alameda counties.

As a result, Simon will be allowed to retain her seat on the board while the dispute over the location of residence is resolved by "outside legal experts."

Simon, who was elected to the board in 2016, said she moved from a previous residence last yearafter her family received threats due to her support for police reform. She added that she had consulted with BART officials prior to making the move.

Sunni M. Khalid is a veteran of more than 40 years in journalism, having worked in print, radio, television, and web journalism.