BART Inspector General Harriet Richardson resigns, accusing agency leaders of fraud and conflict of interest

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Saturday, March 18, 2023 1:33 AM

BART inspector general resigns due to conflict with agency

ORINADA, California (KGO) — BART Inspector General Harriet Richardson leaves her job on Friday after she claims BART has made her job difficult.

“At some point, you just say enough is enough,” she said at a media event at the Orinda BART station. “I really hope that, in laying the groundwork that I have laid, BART will look at the office a little differently than they have in the past.”

Richardson released a report in early February alleging that BART had significant fraud and conflict of interest problems. She says that BART entered into work contracts with former employees, plus BART paid the employee full salary and benefits, despite the fact that this employee did not work according to the schedule.

MORE: BART responds after scathing report calls agency ‘unreliable, financially reckless and inefficient’

BART director Bevan Dufty says directors can learn a lot from Richardson’s reports. As for the conflict of interest, Dufty says the work was done according to their wishes.

“The Inspector General has recommended that we go after this company to pay us back for the work we have done,” Dufty said. “The work has been completed. The work was more than satisfactory. I couldn’t vote for this recommendation.”

Another issue is crime. Richardson claims that much of BART’s crime comes from passengers not paying for their tickets and jumping over the turnstile. Dufty says updating the gate should be BART’s priority.

MORE: Here’s Why BART Board President Blames San Francisco For Train Safety Issues

“Now this is our Achilles heel,” Dufty said. “We need to do it as soon as possible and I think once we get the contract because we have the prototype everything will go a lot faster than they see in BART.”

The Board of Directors will now interview candidates for the new Inspector General. They will recommend three people to Governor Newsom to make the official appointment. The board says they need to get someone ASAP. Having one of these will save BART money in the long run, they say.

“How to make BART more efficient?” said director Deborah Allen. “How can we make it more economical? I can tell you that there is a lot of waste there.”

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