A veteran Metrobus manager is serving a 13-day suspension after making what Metro deemed to be "inappropriate and offensive" comments during a graduation speech to Metrobus operators.
Ora Crutchfield made statements against elderly people, young black men and Asians during the April 30 graduation ceremony, according to a Metro investigative report obtained by The Washington Examiner. Such events are typically attended by graduates' friends and family members -- of all ages and backgrounds.
Metro train derails in yard A four-car Metro train derailed in the New Carrollton rail yard Monday evening, damaging the track signaling equipment. The rear car, a Rohr 1000 series model, derailed around 6:25 p.m. at the Orange Line rail yard as the train was pulling out of the shop into the yard, said spokeswoman Cathy Asato. No passengers were aboard the train, which was not in service. No one was injured, and the incident does not appear to have damaged the rail cars, Asato said. However, the signaling equipment on the track was damaged, she said. Crews began to repair it Tuesday, she said. The two operators on the train were placed on paid administrative leave and underwent drug and alcohol tests, as is standard after any incident, she said. The agency notified its outside safety monitor, the Tri-State Oversight Committee, she said. - Kytja Weir
Metro's Office of Civil Rights found that Crutchfield violated the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's policies. "Not only were her comments offensive, but showed poor judgment, especially by a manager speaking at a WMATA graduation ceremony," the memo said.
Crutchfield declined to comment when reached at her home Tuesday.
A Metro spokesman declined to identify her by name but confirmed that a female manager had been suspended without pay on July 12 for 13 days for making "inappropriate" comments at the graduation ceremony.
The 25-year Metro veteran will be required to take a sensitivity training course when she returns to her job, said spokesman Reggie Woodruff.
The case harks back to a 2008 incident in which a veteran Metro mechanic was fired after telling a dirty joke while emceeing an awards ceremony for the elevator and escalator department. Three supervisors were suspended for not intervening.
This latest case did not involve any other suspensions, Woodruff said. The punishment differed in the two cases based on the nature of the comments made and the people who made the remarks, Woodruff said. "The disciplinary action was handled based on each individual case," he said.