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MTA Worker Put on Leave Pending Probe of Dismissal

April 29, 1998

Amelia Earnest, a whistle-blower who claims to have been fired for exposing waste and mismanagement at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, has been given back pay and placed on leave with pay while an investigation of her termination continues.

Julian Burke, the MTA's chief executive officer, last week directed that Earnest be put on administrative leave retroactive to last November when she was laid off.

Burke has made no determination about her case, spokesman Marc Littman said. "He's been talking to the inspector general and has not made any conclusions one way or another."

After published reports about Earnest's dismissal, Burke told MTA board members last month that he would provide a detailed report to them about her termination.

In a 64-page complaint, Earnest contends she was fired from the MTA after providing information to the office of inspector general about waste, fraud and abuse in purchasing and contracting.

Her attorney, Marvin Rudnick, said Burke's decision to put his client on paid leave "doesn't mean we're not going to continue to fight."

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