With governor's signature, BART could get an Inspector General

BART may soon find itself under a monitor who would have vast authority to look at the agency’s books, operations, plans and progress.

State Senator Steve Glazer, the Senate's and Bay Area's chief BART gadfly, proposed a BART Inspector General. It's in an already passed bill that's awaiting the governor's signature.

Glazer says an IG is necessary due to issues such as the BART janitor, who, in 2015 made $271,000 in salary and overtime; $706,000 over four years.  Glazer trusts neither BART Management nor the BART Board to shepherd the system's operations, contracts and finances.

Other major big city transit systems as well as Amtrak, already have Inspectors General. The New York Metro Transportation Authority IG, was created 34 years ago. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's IG was established in 1993.

The Office of the IG of the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area Transit Authority was established 11 years ago and Chicago Transit Authority's IG, was established six years ago. All have been involved in numerous cases of financial misdoings, hiring improprieties, overtime abuse and benefit abuse,

BART countered with this statement: "BART's finances are an open book.  In the last 12 months, BART has undergone 22 separate local, state and federal audits. We are confident that the additional oversight in the form of an Inspector General will further demonstrate our practice and commitment to being good stewards of public funds."

There may be some problems with Glazer's proposal. BART's Inspector General, would be chosen from three finalists, all selected by BART officials. The IG could be fired upon a vote of two-thirds of the BART Directors plus the Governor's approval of the firing.

Despite reports to the contrary, BART says it supports the Senate Bill, which contains the Inspector General provision and a billion dollars in BART funding.