WMATA OIG to review Silver Line construction quality issues

For immediate release: September 19, 2018

The following news release is being issued on behalf of the WMATA Office of Inspector General.

WMATA Inspector General Geoffrey Cherrington today announced that his office is opening a review of Silver Line Phase II construction, including concerns around the quality of concrete used in the project and other construction elements and practices. The scope of the review will also include general contract compliance and a study of potential future costs associated with increased maintenance or remedies that may be necessary as a result of construction quality issues.

The Silver Line Phase II project, currently under construction, will extend Metrorail service from the current terminus at Wiehle-Reston East 11.4 miles to Ashburn, Va. The project includes six new stations, as well as track and structures, power substations, signals, and a new Dulles rail yard to store and maintain trains. 

The line is being constructed by Capital Rail Constructors under a contract with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which has primary oversight of the project. Once construction is completed, the line is expected to be transferred to WMATA (Metro).

“We are initiating this review to ensure that WMATA – and by extension, its funding jurisdictions and the region’s taxpayers – can be confident that they will be receiving a quality project that is safe and reliable for rail operations,” Cherrington said. “In addition, we want to clearly understand what, if any, long-term expense risks are out there as a result of necessary remedies to address these quality issues.”

Last month, a Silver Line contractor pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and admitted to falsifying data regarding concrete quality. 
For efficiency, the WMATA OIG review will supersede an independent review announced by Metro in May 2018.

WMATA OIG announces indictment

For immediate release: September 5, 2018

The following news release was issued by the Metro Office of Inspector General

The Maryland State’s Attorney for Prince George’s County today announced that a grand jury has returned an indictment charging Hardutt Singh, Vice President for Potomac Construction, with one count of bribery of a public official. 

According to the indictment, on December 16, 2016, Singh “did attempt to bribe” a public official, an employee of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

This matter is being jointly investigated by the Office of Inspector General for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the FBI’s Washington Field Office, the Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Office of the State’s Attorney for Prince George’s County, Maryland. 

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant State’s Attorney Joel Patterson.

WMATA Inspector General welcomes Kimberly A. Howell as Assistant Inspector General

For immediate release: January 19, 2018

The following news release was issued by the WMATA Office of Inspector General.

WMATA Inspector General Geoffrey Cherrington today announced the appointment of Kimberly A. Howell to the position of Assistant Inspector General for Investigations (AIGI), where she will oversee the department’s internal investigations into potential criminal fraud, waste and abuse.

“I look forward to working with Ms. Howell to ensure that Metro is accountable to the taxpayers and jurisdictions that we serve by working to prevent fraud, waste and abuse,” said Inspector General Cherrington. “Ms. Howell brings a wealth of experience to the position including extensive investigative work and background as a Federal law enforcement officer.”

This is a portrait of Kimberly A. Howell: 012018-AIGI-Howell

“I would also like to thank and congratulate outgoing AIGI Isabel Cumming for her strong leadership and dedication over the past seven years,” Cherrington added. Cumming is leaving Metro to become the Inspector General for the City of Baltimore.

Howell comes to Metro from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) where she served as the Director of the Office of Investigations responsible for overseeing nationwide investigations of alleged criminal and civil wrongdoing within the NRC jurisdiction.

Howell has had a distinguished career spanning nearly 25 years of public service. She began her Federal law enforcement career as a Special Agent with the United States Secret Service in 1993 and held increasingly responsible Federal law enforcement positions with several federal agencies. Howell entered the Senior Executive Service in 2011 when she was selected as Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Investigations with the Office of Personnel Management Office of the Inspector General.

Howell is a Certified Fraud Examiner and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in administration of justice from Howard University, a graduate certificate in Inspector General Leadership from American University, and a Master of Public Administration degree from American Public University. In addition, she is an adjunct assistant professor in the Criminology/Criminal Justice Program at the University of Maryland University College.

Howell will report directly to WMATA Inspector General Geoffrey Cherrington.

WMATA Office of Inspector General announces guilty plea

For immediate release: September 27, 2017

The following news release was issued by the Metro Office of Inspector General. 

The WMATA Office of Inspector General today announced the guilty plea of theft of government property by Da’Mon Price, 24, of Clinton, Md., in Federal District Court in Greenbelt. 

The joint investigation revealed that Price had accepted employment at WMATA as a student bus operator while concurrently receiving Workers Compensation payments from the United States Postal Service for an injury he claimed to have received while in the performance of his duties as a letter carrier. Under the conditions of his Workers Compensation claim, Price was designated in a “no work” capacity. 

Price received a sentence of one year probation and was ordered to pay $2,940.96 in restitution and a fine of $1,000.00 by Magistrate Judge Thomas M. DiGirolamo. 

The investigation was conducted jointly by the United States Postal Service OIG and WMATA-OIG and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Hollis Weisman.

Metro Inspector General Geoff Cherrington commended the USAO for the prosecution and thanked the USPS-OIG for their “fine partnership in this investigation.”

“This office is committed to the taxpayers to fight fraud and refer for prosecution cases at any level to protect our tax dollars,” said Metro Assistant Inspector General Isabel Mercedes Cumming. “We want to send a message that any fraud — regardless of the size — will be referred for prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.”

Media contact for USPS-OIG:
ASAC Lance Norrington
(770) 225-3502

Media contact for WMATA:
Media Relations
(202) 962-1051