A half dozen Metro employees are without jobs after the transit agency investigated a derailment near the East Falls Church Metro station earlier this year and found “flagrant misconduct,” general manager Paul Wiedefeld said today.
Metro fired the four inspectors and two supervisors in connection with the July 29 incident, which sent a Silver Line train with 75 riders off the rails about 100 feet from the stop. An internal investigation found that workers falsified track inspection records, according to Wiedefeld.
The transit agency also has taken or is considering taking disciplinary action against almost two dozen other employees, he said.
Metro has demoted a superintendent and an assistant general superintendent. The transit agency also is in the process of terminating another supervisor and deciding how, or if, it will discipline two other supervisors and 16 track inspectors. An assistant superintendent, who faced possible disciplinary action, left Metro, too.
The 28 employees make up almost half of Metro’s track inspection department.
“I want the Board, our employees and our customers to know that this review revealed a disturbing level of indifference, lack of accountability, and flagrant misconduct in a portion of Metro’s track department which is completely intolerable,” Wiedefeld said in a statement. “Further, it is reprehensible that any supervisor or mid-level manager would tolerate or encourage this behavior, or seek to retaliate against those who objected. It is also entirely unacceptable to me that any employee went along with this activity, rather than exercise a safety challenge, or any of the multiple avenues available to protect themselves, their coworkers, and the riding public.”