WASHINGTON – A Metro track department supervisor accused of claiming “significant” overtime pay when he was not actually on the job was fired Friday as part of a broad investigation that could lead to more firings or even criminal charges.
This particular supervisor “accessed significant overtime earnings, including during times when he was not working,” a Metro statement said.
In addition to the supervisor fired for abuse of overtime, other Metro employees are “under administrative review,” according to the statement. The Office of Inspector General is also continuing a broader investigation.
An interim report from the office of the new inspector general, Geoffrey Cherrington, has identified serious issues with overtime fraud that are more widespread, the Metro statement suggested.
“The Inspector General’s office conducted an analysis of overall overtime earnings and found that certain track managers earned more than double their base salary in overtime, a pattern that was recurring over several years,” Metro said.
General Manager Paul Wiedefeld promised to implement interim recommendations from the inspector general that would provide more controls on overtime pay.
An agency spokesman declined to elaborate on Metro’s written statement citing the ongoing investigations. The Office of Inspector General also declined to comment.
Metro’s largest union, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 said the individual fired appeared to be a manager, not someone working in a position represented by the union, so they had no additional information.
In similar overtime abuse cases in the past, Metro has been able to prove its cases using GPS devices on Metro vehicles that tracked workers to neighborhoods during their workdays or by checking video surveillance of stations.
Metro has not generally pursued criminal theft charges in these cases in the past, but the agency could make a stronger push to do that moving forward as Metro tries to convince the region it is doing everything possible to scrounge up money and improve management ahead of a debate over new funding.
Metro is already taking steps to better track workers throughout the day.
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