BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- The Idaho Transportation Department's governing board has selected a new director for the agency.

The Idaho Transportation Board on Thursday picked Brian Ness, who comes to the state after a 30-year career with the Michigan Department of Transportation.

Ness will start Jan. 11.

The board narrowed a pool of 126 applicants down to 12 finalists before Ness was selected. The search began after the board fired Pam Lowe in July after being named head of the agency in Dec. 2006.

Lowe is challenging her termination in a lawsuit filed in 4th District Court earlier this month.

Copyright 2009 The AP.

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