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California Briefing / Los Angeles

PUC hires former Metrolink official

March 21, 2009|Rich Connell

The former Metrolink spokeswoman who resigned in the aftermath of last year's Chatsworth train crash has been hired by the state Public Utilities Commission, the agency announced Friday.

Denise Tyrrell will manage the commission's Los Angeles office and focus on community outreach to consumers, community groups and local elected officials. Tyrrell also may serve as spokeswoman for the agency in Southern California.

Tyrrell worked for Metrolink from 2004 until a few days after the Sept. 12 train collision that killed 25 and injured 135. She resigned after being criticized by some Metrolink officials and federal investigators for announcing the day after the crash that a preliminary investigation had found that the Metrolink engineer ran a red light. Investigators have since said the same thing.

Tyrrell said the plan to make the announcement was agreed to by Metrolink's chief executive, David Solow. Some board members criticized the admission as premature, although other observers praised Tyrrell's candor.

-- Rich Connell

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