WMATA fires two workers for stealing

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Photo - A Metro worker was fired after investigators discovered the person had falsified time sheets worth thousands of dollars in extra payments. Another full-time employee was fired for stealing less than $300 worth of small household-style appliances.
A Metro worker was fired after investigators discovered the person had falsified time sheets worth thousands of dollars in extra payments. Another full-time employee was fired for stealing less than $300 worth of small household-style appliances.
Local,Kytja Weir,Metro,Metro and Traffic

A Metro worker was fired after investigators discovered the person had falsified time sheets worth thousands of dollars in extra payments.

The worker, one of two employees fired after recent investigations into stealing from the transit agency, had been working as a contractor for Metro at the time.

But the person, who was not identified in an inspector general's report, was then hired by the agency as a full-time worker. The agency was not aware of the false reporting at the time of the hiring, said spokeswoman Morgan Dye.

In the other recent case, a Metro supervisor was fired for stealing less than $300 worth of small household-style appliances from the transit agency, Dye said. It was not immediately available what type of appliances were taken, but Dye said they were not related to train equipment. The person, a supervisor of infrastructuremaintenance employees, gave some of the appliances to family members before getting canned in the second half of last year, according to Metro.

The supervisor was not the first to take home Metro's belongings. Investigators found 70 pieces ofMetroitems, including a 32-inch computer monitor, camera equipment and a portablegenerator, in the home of anotherMetrosupervisor in 2010.

But that track maintenance supervisor was able to retire and did not face any criminal charges because the State's Attorney's Office for Prince George's County declined to prosecute, saying thatMetro"may have served to create an atmosphere where such behavior, although not explicitly condoned or excused, was part of an implicitly tolerated practice."

At the time, Metro had said it would tighten up tracking of equipment and add new requirements for inventory and bar-coding equipment.

But as recently as last year, the agency was still failing to adequately track computer software and hardware purchases, according to Inspector General Helen Lew's office, leading to some new items sitting unused for at least two years.

And Metro workers sometimes have walked off with cash. Last year, two Metro workers pleaded guilty to stealing more than $445,000 from the transit agency fare machines, much of it in bags of coins that they used to pay off jewelry store debts and buy lotto tickets.

kweir@washingtonexaminer.com

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Kytja Weir

Staff Writer - Transportation
The Washington Examiner