Louisiana Digital News

Month after settling lawsuit, CATS says ousted exec is not a drug user


BATON ROUGE – Despite firing one of its top administrators after a leaked drug test showed he tested positive for meth, the Baton Rouge bus system says it does not believe he is a “user of illicit or illegal drugs.” 

The statement came almost a month to the day that the CATS bus system reached a settlement with John Cutrone in a lawsuit filed after his firing last year. The CATS board ousted Cutrone and CEO Bill Deville amid a flurry of WBRZ reports on the problems at the agency. 

Cutrone was the CATS comptroller and was in charge of handling the agency’s money.  

Among the issues exposed by the Investigative Unit was Cutrone’s leaked drug evaluation, which came back positive for meth. Cutrone, who denied using any illicit drugs, was able to keep his job for some time despite the bus system touting a zero-tolerance drug policy.

Records also showed the bus system had fallen behind on multiple bills. 

The CATS board held a meeting in April where it approved a settlement with Cutrone, but the bus system did not release details on the terms of that agreement. The statement released Tuesday says CATS did not fire Cutrone because of the drug test and that he was removed because the agency wished to move in a “different direction.”

You can read that full statement below. 

CATS and Mr. John Cutrone announce they have resolved their differences. CATS does not believe Mr. Cutrone is a user of illicit or illegal drugs. CATS understands Mr. Cutrone was lawfully prescribed a common medication for the treatment of Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder. Mr. Cutrone was not terminated on account of the drug test. Instead, CATS made the decision to go in a different direction. We wish Mr. Cutrone well in his future endeavors and thank him for his efforts.

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