The head of Gov. Pat McCrory's eastern North Carolina office is the next state ferry system director.
The Department of Transportation announced Monday that Ed Goodwin has replaced longtime system employee Harold Thomas, who was director since late 2011.
Goodwin is a former Chowan County commissioner, ex-Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent and 2012 Republican candidate for secretary of state. He has no experience within the ferry office.
DOT ferry spokesman Tim Hass says Goodwin will focus on broader initiatives related to customer service, capital improvements and relations with legislators.
Thomas has been demoted to one of two deputy director positions. DOT says Goodwin will make $92,000 annually. Thomas' pay will be cut by one-third.
The division operates 22 ferries along seven routes, with 2 million passengers annually.
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