February 14, 2019
FTA Suspends Illinois Woman Employed by Locomotive Manufacturer
On February 14, 2019, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) suspended and proposed the debarment of Velda Berryman from participation in Federal procurement and nonprocurement programs. FTA previously suspended her from June 30, 2017, to June 29, 2018, and referred allegations to DOT-OIG for investigation. Based on the results of DOT-OIG’s investigation, FTA re-suspended Berryman and proposed the debarment.
Berryman was previously the integrated supply chain manager at Progress Rail Locomotive, Inc. (Progress Rail) in LaGrange, Illinois, where she was responsible for the company’s certifications as a Transit Vehicle Manufacturer (TVM) and a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise. The investigation confirmed that, in or around April–May 2017, she fabricated emails or letters to suggest they were from an FTA equal opportunity specialist and falsely stated that FTA had certified Progress Rail as a TVM, which would make it eligible to bid on FTA-assisted contracts. Berryman showed the fabricated emails to officials at Progress Rail, the Chicago-based Commuter Rail Division of the Regional Transportation Authority (Metra), and FTA.
Note: Exclusion actions (suspensions and debarments) are frequently for a specific period of time, and the System for Award Management should be consulted to find out whether an entity is currently excluded.