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NJ Transit Accused of Ignoring Rules, Hiding Official's Concerns

  • Whistle-blower complaint says higher-ups ordered memos buried
  • Federal fixes given ‘lip service,’ ex-compliance chief claims
Hoboken Terminal Partially Reopens After Last Month\'s NJ Transit Crash

Photographer: Drew Angerer/Getty Images 

New Jersey Transit thwarted warnings about years-long safety issues and instructed its compliance chief to label his written concerns as confidential to prevent scrutiny by attorneys, media and the public, according to a whistle-blower complaint filed with the U.S. Labor Department.

When Todd Barretta started the job last March, he alleges in the complaint, he witnessed rail crews given the answers to operating-rules tests, and discovered federal recommendations that had been unaddressed for three years. When Barretta raised concerns, he was instructed to mark his communications as confidential “to circumvent New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act and any other discovery rules,” according to a copy of the complaint obtained by Bloomberg News.