Fir­ings erase third of track in­spec­tion staff

The Washington Post Sunday - - COMMUTER - — Mar­tine Pow­ers and Faiz Sid­diqui

Metro Gen­eral Man­ager Paul J. Wiede­feld con­firmed that he has fired 21 mem­bers of the agency’s track in­spec­tion de­part­ment as part of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into fal­si­fied in­spec­tion records.

Wiede­feld told mem­bers of the Metro board safety com­mit­tee that the ter­mi­na­tions in­clude 16 track in­spec­tors and five su­per­vi­sors — about onethird of the ex­ist­ing de­part­ment.

Although the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was prompted by a de­rail­ment near East Falls Church in July, Wiede­feld ac­knowl­edged Thurs­day that most of the fir­ings had noth­ing to do with the stretch of de­fec­tive tracks that caused the de­rail­ment. In­stead, he said, in­ves­ti­ga­tors think they un­cov­ered in­spec­tion re­ports that were fal­si­fied for other parts of the Sil­ver Line, rather than the spe­cific cross­over where the de­rail­ment oc­curred. He did not say whether in­spec­tion records were found to be fal­si­fied on other lines of the sys­tem.

“They were sys­temic is­sues we were hav­ing in that de­part­ment,” he said.

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