Officials: Light Rail Maintenance Staff Under Investigation

Updated: 04/18/2013 9:10 AM KSTP.com By: Jay Kolls

Metro Transit officials confirm there is a major investigation underway at its light rail Hiawatha maintenance shop. 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has learned the investigation started in December and is still in progress.

Metro Transit says it does involve staff at the maintenance facility, but would not specify which employees were under investigation. Sources tell 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS it does involve managers as well as hourly employees. Those same sources say part of the allegations that lead to the investigation include the exchange of pills and firearms for coveted overtime shifts at the maintenance facility.

Metro Transit officials told us they have hired an outside agency to conduct the investigation and that Metro Transit management takes the investigation and allegations "very seriously." Sources tell 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS Metro Transit has hired an outside law firm to conduct the investigation and the probe should be concluded within the next few weeks. Metro Transit officials would not want to talk about disciplinary action, because it involves personnel issues. But a Metro Transit spokesperson told us there have not been any terminations and disciplinary measures handed out "just yet."

There are 63 employees at the Metro Transit maintenance facility. Sixty-one of those employees are represented by unions and two workers are non-union. Light rail has an annual budget of roughly $30 million.