FMCSA Acting Administrator Jim Mullen to Step Down, Replacement Named
Washington D.C. – The Acting Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is stepping down at the end of this month.
Transportation Nation Network (TNN) has confirmed with multiple sources and is the first to report Jim Mullen will be leaving his post on August 28, 2020.
“At the end of the month, Jim Mullen will be leaving the Department,” a United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) spokesperson told TNN on Friday. “We greatly appreciate Jim’s service and the work he has done for our country.”
Mullen first joined the FMCSA as Chief Counsel in June 2018.
It was a position he held until October 2019 when former Administrator Ray Martinez abruptly stepped down.
Before joining the FMCSA, Mullen served for more than a decade as the executive vice president and general counsel for Werner Enterprises.
After leaving Werner in December 2016, he then launched his own consulting firm before eventually joining the Agency.
Under Mullen’s leadership, the Agency was able to bring the long-awaited final hours of service (HOS) rule across the finish line.
The new rule is set to take effect September 29, 2020.
The Acting Administrator was also faced with the unforeseen and enormous challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mullen led the Agency to issue its historic 50-state HOS exemption for motor carriers directly engaged in relief efforts.
The Agency also issued a series of waivers on issues such as commercial drivers license (CDL) training, third-party CDL testing, pre-employment drug screenings, and driver medical certifications.
Under Mullen’s guidance the FMCSA also launched its Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse in January 2020.
Near the end of his tenure the Agency was hit with a barrage of criticism over its handling of alleged freight broker abuses, and specifically, violations of 49 CFR 371.3 which requires brokers to keep records of each transaction and provide those records, upon request, to each party of the transaction including the motor carrier.
Most recently, the Agency has had to grapple with widespread social unrest manifested in protests staged on interstates, rioting, and rising violence against truckers.
As TNN first reported, the FMCSA considered further unprecedented regulatory relief to help truckers navigate the new realities.
However, the Agency ultimately chose a different course of action by allowing drivers who encounter highway protests and threats of violence to use the “emergency conditions exception” in the HOS regulations.
This action, or inaction, was also strongly criticized by thousands of drivers who shared feedback on TNN’s social media pages and members only section.
The USDOT spokesperson also indicated Mullen’s successor has been named.
“Wiley Deck, currently a Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary and former FMCSA Director of Government Affairs, will assume the role of Deputy Administrator of FMCSA,” the spokesperson said.
Deck began his Federal career in 1994, serving on the staff of Congressman John L. Mica (FL).
Throughout more than 23 years of service to Rep. Mica, Wiley held a series of positions.
Prior to joining the FMCSA, Wiley also served as the Director of Oversight and Investigations for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
This is a breaking story and TransportationNation.com will continue to follow the latest developments.