By Carten Cordell | Watchdog.org Virginia Bureau
ALEXANDRIA — Kimberly Moore adapts quickly to the job and brings a professionalism that will aid her in the glaring spotlight of accountability officer for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.
That’s the word from Moore’s former boss, Portsmouth’s Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Cedric Wiggins.
“You could tell that she was a person on the rise, a star in the making, and she would be good at whatever she set out to do,” he said. “It was only a matter of time before she left us.”
A day after officials in Portsmouth declined to talk about her tenure with the prosecutor’s office in detail, Wiggins came out to praise and affirm her as the face of accountability at MWAA.
Before becoming a high-level counsel for the U.S. Department of Transportation, Moore was an assistant at the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office in Portsmouth, handling serious criminal cases.
“She was very astute,” Wiggins said. “She got along with everyone, except the defendants, and she was very good for us.”
From 2006 to 2008, she cut her legal teeth in the courtroom and rose quickly, becoming an invaluable asset to the prosecutor’s team, Wiggins said.
“I think that the rapid advancement she showed from handling the most rudimentary-type cases, then up to murder cases, demonstrated that she was one of those attorneys that very early on had ‘it,’” he said.
“She could cope with almost anything in a courtroom, was quick on her feet and could handle details necessary for a thorough investigation, as well as a presentation of evidence in court.”
By October 2008, Moore decided to go in a different direction with the law, earning a position in the U.S. Secretary of Transportation’s Office, handling everything from contract disputes to ethical training and federal grant projects.
On July 24, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood appointed Moore improve the transparency and accountability of MWAA, an authority that has seen more black eyes this year than Jake LaMotta when it comes to the public manner it has conducted business.
To be sure, it is a heady task, especially as reports of expensive business trips and an ongoing dispute over the membership of the authority’s board of directors have become staples of the local news cycle.
MWAA needs to have a solid public perception, as it embarks upon building the $2.7 billion Phase 2 portion of the Silver Line Metro project, and Wiggins said Moore has the ability to help the authority clean up its reputation.
“I think she will definitely be an asset, a boon, to the authority,” he said. “She can handle the task and will make it a better place for her being there.”