May 11, 2017
FTA Debars Former Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Employees for 3 Years
On May 11, 2017, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) debarred Linda Williams, a former paratransit operator for Provide A Ride, a Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) contractor, and Pamela Gray Mason, a former GCRTA manager, from receiving Federal funds directly or indirectly through most Federal programs and procurements.
On July 28, 2016, Williams had pleaded guilty to unauthorized use of property in Cuyahoga County Court, Cleveland, Ohio. She was then sentenced to 24 months of probation and 500 hours of community service, and ordered to pay $2,524.73 restitution in connection with an earlier charge related to the misuse of GCRTA’s paratransit system. The investigation revealed that, starting in 2013, Williams extensively abused the paratransit service for her personal use. Williams scheduled unauthorized paratransit rides for herself under the name of a deceased veteran. The unauthorized rides included trips to political events, personal errands, social events, and transportation to and from work. The value of services stolen was estimated at over $2,524.73.
On August 1, 2016, Mason was sentenced in Cuyahoga County Court to 12 months of probation and ordered to pay $4,241.74 restitution in connection with the misuse of GCRTA’s paratransit system. She had pleaded guilty to theft charges on May 19, 2016. The investigation revealed that, starting in 2008, Mason extensively used the paratransit service to take herself and family members on trips to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, various professional sporting events in Cleveland, political events, personal errands, and transportation to and from work and school. Mason admitted to arranging the fraudulent rides by dispatching rides as “unknown” riders. The value of services stolen was estimated at over $4,200.
DOT-OIG worked this investigation jointly with the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office and the FBI.
Note: Exclusion actions (suspensions and debarments) are frequently for a specific period of time, and the System for Award Management (Sam.gov) should be consulted to find out whether a company is currently excluded.