Metro will replace internal watchdog when contract is up

Metro plans to replace its inspector general when his five-year contract is up in April, according to a document posted by the agency Tuesday.

Geoffrey Cherrington, who was appointed by the Metro board in 2017, will not be returning to the gig.

Instead, starting April 17, a day after Cherrington’s contract is up, Deputy Inspector General Rene Febles will serve as acting inspector general until a permanent watchdog is appointed.

Metro did not provide a reason for its decision in the proposed resolution.

In a statement, Metro spokeswoman Lynn Bowersox said: “The Board will vote this week on a resolution to not reappoint Mr. Cherrington and to appoint Mr. Rene Febles, the current Deputy Inspector General for OIG Investigations, as Interim Inspector General. Rene has been with WMATA since 2018.

The Board will develop a process to search for a permanent Inspector General, and will be developing that process in the near term. There is a resolution on this matter that will come before the Board’s Executive Committee this week. Should the resolution be voted out of Committee, it will come to the full Board for a vote in a special meeting following the Executive Committee.”

As recently as January, Cherrington had been looking into possible fuel thefts at the agency.

“We found that millions of gallons of fuel are at risk of theft without detection,” Cherrington told Metro board members then.

His report said that between mid-2016 and mid-2019, there were about $2 million of questionable fuel transactions.

Last year, a report from his office said Metro employees were taking part in a widespread scheme to defraud the company’s timekeeping software so they could show up late or leave early and still receive full pay.

In the same report, the inspector general found that WMATA workers would photocopy employee identification badges in order to fool the agency’s employee timekeeping software.

The report stated that between September 2018 and May 2019, several WMATA employees possessed duplicate badges.

WTOP’s John Aaron and Luke Lukert contributed to this report.

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Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Writer/Editor for He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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