FAA administrator resigns after arrest
Police arrested Randy Babbitt, 65, Saturday, on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
December 6th, 2011
05:30 PM ET

FAA administrator resigns after arrest

Federal Aviation Administrator Randy Babbitt resigned Tuesday, three days after he was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving near his suburban Washington home.

In a brief statement released to the press, Babbitt said he had submitted his resignation to his boss, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, and that LaHood had accepted it.

Babbitt, a former airline pilot, said serving as FAA administrator had been "the highlight of my professional career."

"But I am unwilling to let anything cast a shadow on the outstanding work done 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by my colleagues at the FAA," Babbitt said.

The statement made no mention of the arrest.

Earlier in the day, LaHood told reporters he was "disappointed" that he had learned about Babbitt's Saturday night arrest only after police in the city of Fairfax, Virginia, released a press release about the incident.

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Filed under: Aviation • Virginia
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I'd like to know more details.
    Was it the first arrest?
    What was the level of alcohol in his blood?
    Was if a small error in judgment, or is there more involved?

    December 6, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • us1776

      December is the month where a lot of people get caught off-guard at Christmas parties by overgenerous hosts that over-serve their guests and pour too much alcohol into their drinks.

      It's happened at one time or another to everyone who drinks alcohol.


      December 6, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • lou50

      you left out: was he on the clock or off duty. Was he on call and does his job description say he is on call 24/7. So he had to much to drink if he was off work, it is only against the law to drive and drink beyond limits.

      December 6, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. gung hoe

    Golly gee mr lahood did ya ever think to ask your guy why he resigned gosh darned

    December 6, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Portland tony

    Obama forgive me for I got caught. For God sake, he's a department head. Doesn't he rate a driver or at least a taxi?

    December 6, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. gung hoe

    @jif good evening I will bet ya joey that he had a choice quit or be fired

    December 6, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. BOMBO

    I agree JIF. The picture raises questions, though. Is that a mugshot? Was he drunk when the picture was taken? He looks older than 65. Of course, if that is his employee badge photo or something, and he is sober, then I'll feel bad.

    December 6, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • jinda

      Choosy mother's prefer JIF

      December 6, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Was my reply rejected?

    December 6, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jinda

    Definitely face of the drunk.

    December 6, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Spence

    Why would an Administrator at the FAA or anyone at nearly any job for that matter, resign just because they got a DUI (DWI)? It happens all the time. The guy is a desk jockey for crying out loud, not an active pilot. I don't get this.

    December 6, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      This is the year of the political gotcha. Don't know what contributed to his intoxication, but if he had hit, hurt, or killed someone the fallout would have been politically damaging to the administration.

      December 6, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Yep. I said that it probably was not isolated.

    December 6, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I'd also said hello to gung hoe and BOMBO.
    jinda is new: hello.

    December 6, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Frank Jeff

    DUI. Big deal. It's not like he was having his illegal Mexican maid get him all the pharmaceuticals he wanted. (Rush "The Obese One" Limbaugh should have resigned in prison)

    December 6, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    The above impersonator...pi_s poor. 🙂

    December 6, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO

      It's either George or Phil, or possibly a hybrid. It would seem they've "merged."

      December 6, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. BOMBO

    I don't want to sound too agreeable (there's no fun in that), but he should not resign or be fired unless he was on the clock. However, driving over the legal limit IS a big deal. It is stupid and dangerous, and criminal in most jurisdictions. If he was on his own time, losing his license and paying a fine is a fitting punishment, but not losing his job.

    December 6, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Frank Jeff

    The trick is to get the drunkard off the street BEFORE he kills someone, not after. So what if he got lucky and didn't run over any kids. Take is license away for a year and send him to drunk school. We could make him do his FAA job as part of his community service too.

    December 6, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I've also considered the possibility of a single source of trolls.

    December 6, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
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