Metro's general manager has fired 20 managers, including seven senior managers, just days after announcing a massive maintenance plan.
News4 has obtained an internal memo from Metro General Manager and CEO Paul Wiedefeld that reads:
"Consistent with the Customer Accountability Report (CARe), I began management restructuring by reducing my direct reports from 21 to 9, and departments are currently being realigned under the new structure. This includes streamlining management to improve effectiveness and accountability. As part of this restructuring, 20 managers are being released from WMATA, including seven senior managers. More than one-third are from the rail side of the house. Others are in administrative areas, including procurement, for example. I hope you will join me in respecting the privacy of these individuals, and note that I will not be commenting about individual employees. CARe also calls for the elimination of redundant positions, and that review is underway."
A Metro source told News4 Wiedefeld intends to fire more employees.
News4 interviewed Wiedefeld earlier this month after a fireball on the tracks at Federal Center sparked more safety concerns and he admitted there are issues with the transit agency's culture.
"It gets back to how the culture of the agency is. When you see something like that, somewhere in the agency, people aren't reacting," Wiedefeld said. "It gets to that much larger issue that we've been trying to deal with."
Wiedefeld said during the interview he might have to fire some people.
"What you have to do is get the organization to perform the way it should be performing," Wiedefeld said in response. "That means bringing people along, it means training them, it means giving them the right procedures it means exercising the procedures, it means all of that.
"And then yes, if someone does something so out of line with that, then yes, they have to go."
Metro will begin a major maintenance plan on June 4 that will shut down sections of track for extended periods and close all Metrorail stations at midnight every night.