BART Inspector General cites frustration with the agency amidst her resignation

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train is seen in this undated file photo as it pulls into Oakland, California.
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train is seen in this undated file photo as it pulls into Oakland, California. Photo credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS RADIO) – At the Orinda BART station Friday morning California Sen. Steve Glazer held a press conference with the outgoing inspector general who’s leaving the agency after three years of service.

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Glazer introduced the outgoing inspector general, Harriet Richardson, at the press conference.

Richardson admitted that working for the transportation agency was exceptionally challenging in her three years at her post, which was created in 2018. She was the first person to serve in the position.

"For example, in a $40 million conflict of interest case, there is case law that says the contract is void," she said. "And when a contract is void, you can't pay any money under that contract."

"And BART rejected that most significant recommendation," said Richardson.

According to a statement Glazer made about Richardson’s departure, Richardson was impeded from doing her job repeatedly by BART.

An Alameda County Grand Jury report found that since her term began, BART’s management, Board of Directors and labor unions "sought to undermine Inspector General Harriet Richardson’s role by limiting access to information and employees," according to the statement.

During the press conference, Glazer referenced two posters, one as "BART's hall of shame," and the other on the inspector general's accomplishments.

"Over 30 investigations into financial malfeasance, establishing a hotline for fraud, waste, and abuse," he said.

"She strengthened the whistleblower protections, advanced reforms on BART’s financial operations," said Glazer.

The hall of shame poster cited issues like fraud, police failures, conflict of interest, and train cancellations, among others.

Now, according to Glazer, the three-person office will need a newly appointed general, to be appointed by the governor.

"They're going to look for a lap dog and not a watch dog like Ms. Richardson, to occupy that office," he said.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images