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Six Metro Transit employees disciplined after pill pushing probe

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: March 12, 2014 - 3:08 PM

Metro Transit confirmed Wednesday that six employees at the Hiawatha light-rail maintenance facility were disciplined for their role in dispensing prescription painkillers to an employee.

The punishment was just made public this week.

A rail maintenance and training supervisor was suspended for 90 days without pay and demoted for providing pills to a mechanic who no longer works for Metro Transit. A technician who did the same received an 18-month probationary warning.

Another supervisor was suspended for 60 days while a third supervisor was suspended for one week for failing to report the violation of company policy.

Two other technicians who work on light-rail vehicles also were written up, and one was put on probation.

Company officials said the four-month investigation yielded no information that public safety was compromised at any time and that the employee who received the pills did not work directly on light-rail vehicles.

Here is my blog from April 13, 2013

Metro Transit officials confirm that they are wrapping up a four-month investigation of employees at the Hiawatha light-rail maintenance facility in south Minneapolis.

A spokesman on Thursday told the Star Tribune that he was not able to give many details about the probe, which began in December and is likely to wrap up soon.

"We can't comment on the nature or the findings of the investigation at this point because it is not yet final," said Metro Transit spokesman John Siqveland. "Metro Transit takes this situation very seriously."

The agency did not say which employees or how many are under investigation. Metro Transit also did not disclose the reason for the investigation, which is being conducted by an outside agency.

According to a KSTP-TV report, the investigations includes managers and hourly employees and involves employees allegedly trading pills and firearms for coveted overtime shifts.

No disciplinary action has been taken at this juncture, Siqveland said.

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