The company that operates the MBTA's commuter rail system has fired six employees and removed three others from service for falsifying their hours.
Keolis Commuter Services issued the following statement Wednesday:
"Keolis Commuter Services recently discovered evidence of irregular attendance and violations of the company's time card practices by a small group of employees within the mechanical department. Following an internal investigation, a total of nine employees were removed from service and subject to a formal disciplinary process. As of today, six employees have been terminated, and final decisions are pending for the remaining three employees. The actions of these individuals not only violated Keolis’ standards of ethics for its employees, but undermines the trust placed in our organization by the MBTA and taxpayers of the Commonwealth and will not be tolerated."
Leslie Aun, vice president of communications for Keolis, said the company has been tightening up management processes and controlls at all levels of the orgnaization since taking over operation of the MBTA's commuter rail system, and that's how this activity came to light. She said they aren't aware of how much money was improperly paid out to the employees.
"With something like timecard fraud, it's often very difficult to calculate with any degree of accuracy," she said.
Aun said police would determine whether charges would be filed.
Keolis took over operation of the MBTA's commuter rail service in 2014 and is under contract to run it for six more years. It has come under criticism from riders due to unexpected delays and cancellations.
In July, the French company asked the MBTA for an extra $66 million over the next six years to build a bigger fleet of trains and provide more maintenance with an eye toward improving service.