An MTA signal maintainer caught up in the massive scandal where more than 1,000 TWU Local 100 workers dangerously falsified countless safety records will be arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court tomorrow, sources said.
The employee will be the first person prosecuted in the wide-scale fraud, which touched off a mad scramble among the MTA top brass in November to get the system’s 15,000 pieces of signal equipment properly inspected.
The MTA Inspector General’s office is also talking to another 8 or 9 maintainers, who could also face charges, sources said.
Agents from that office recently raided yet another transit worker locker room, looking for bar codes that would normally be affixed to an actual signal device on the tracks and would be scanned by a maintainer once it was inspected, sources said.
Instead, though, some maintainers were keeping copies of those bar codes in locker rooms and scanning them there, falsely reporting that an inspection was completed.
The DA’s office would not comment on the charges, or if the subway worker was arrested or will make a voluntary appearance in court.
In November, The Post reported that one high-level chief, Tracy Bowdwin — the MTA’s highest-earning Signal Department supervisor at $165,000 a year — was demoted in the scandal.
Workers were routinely not inspecting the devices, which tell trains when to stop and when to proceed while on the tracks. The signals also have hardware that prevent trains from crashing into each other.
Supervisors were also applying high amounts of pressure on workers to inspect the devices in a timely manner — even though there wasn’t enough personnel to get the job done on time, a subsequent MTA report found.
“We have been working closely with the MTA Inspector General and District Attorney’s Office to eradicate this practice from our signal inspection operations,” said MTA Spokesman Kevin Ortiz.
Sources said the MTA has increased the number of maintainers on the night shift so the work could be done in accordance with safety standards.
“While it is important to note that the result of this effort has reinforced that the signal system is safe, we will continue to implement new measures to eliminate this past culture from our signals division,” Ortiz said.