WMATA track inspector fired 'for being a whistleblower'

A Metro worker speaks out after being fired.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Trap Thomas was fired Wednesday morning after nine years as a Metro track inspector.

He said Metro managers have been targeting him since 2011, that’s when he started blowing the whistle on repeated safety violations.

“I’ve always wanted to speak to press but Metro always put restriction on us because they didn’t want the truth to come out,” said Thomas. “I’ve been trying to expose the culture of retaliation and the way in which they don’t repair things even when it’s extremely necessary.”

Thomas was fired for allegedly falsifying documents.

“They’re comparing one of my reports to another and calling it falsification because the numbers are the same and they’re supposed to be.”

Thomas is just one of a dozen employees fired for falsifying documents that metro blamed for the East Falls Church derailment this summer.

“They have not told their union specifically what those individuals are accused of doing wrong,” said ATU Local 689 President Jackie Jeter.

RELATED: Metro inspectors noted track problems years before derailment

“The nerve,” said Larry Hanley President of the Amalgamated Transit Union. “After having that management structure in place to allow those things to happen to then say the real problem is falsification by people at the bottom of the food chain that’s outrageous.”

Members of ATU local 689 said the systematic failures can’t be blamed on handful of people like Thomas who said reporting to OSHA and other agencies cost him his job.

The union denies employees falsified documents but there is no proof. The union does not have access to the paperwork because Metro has not produced it.

Metro told WUSA9 they do not release employee disciplinary records.

WMATA General Manager Paul Wiedefeld released the following statement:

"It's important to remember that thousands of Metro employees do a great job and routinely put safety first. However, a true culture of safety requires that we hold ourselves and each other accountable. We cannot condone falsification of documents, and I stand by the actions we have taken that hold both frontline and management employees accountable."


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