Metro's general manager has fired 20 managers, including seven senior managers, just days after announcing a massive maintenance plan.
FOX 5 obtained a memo sent by Metro General Manager 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.
"Please stay focused on safety first and foremost, particularly as we advance the new SafeTrack plan. It's also important that we all continue to progress actions planned under the CARe initiative to improve safety, service reliability and financial management."
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) said in statement on Wiedefeld's decision to remove 20 managers:
"People have to be held accountable. The Metro General Manager has been urged to do that. I hope this sends a signal across the entire Metro organization that safety and customer service must come first."
In March, Connolly urged Wiedefeld that, "Those responsible for allowing these issues to languish should step down or be removed."
Watch FOX 5's one-on-one interview with Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld here.