Curt Pringle resigned today from the embattled California High-Speed Rail Authority board, saying he is doing so to "focus my attention on my company and my other responsibilities."
The former Assembly speaker and Anaheim mayor was chairman of the board for two years before his term ended in June.
"Over the past two years, we have accomplished much in moving this project from a vision to a reality: the hiring of a world-class CEO, being awarded over $3.5 billion in federal funding and deciding on a construction starting segment," Pringle wrote in a letter to the current board chairman, Thomas Umberg. "But that effort has taken much hard work and much more hard work will be needed."
California's bid to build a high speed rail system connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco has come under increasing scrutiny, with lingering questions about the route's location and cost.
Pringle said in his letter that he continues to support the project and is confident it will be finished. However, he said the project "will not be successful without political leadership from the governor." With his resignation, Pringle wrote, Gov. Jerry Brown "will have the ability to appoint someone to reflect his point of view."
Umberg praised Pringle in a prepared statement, saying he "helped turn this project from an idea into a reality."