About once a week or so, the former regional transit agency known as TriMess gets caught in another lie, or at least, in some form of deception. Last week brought us Jeff Gianola's news segments in which long-time FON Neil McFarlane tried to brush aside the fact that TriMet managers are among the best-compensated of any transit agency in the country.
In interviews conducted, appropriately enough, on an immobile bus, McFarlane claimed that TriMet's one of the best transit agencies in the country, and you have to pay managers big money to retain them. At the same time, he whined that the health insurance and other benefits that they have to pay drivers and mechanics are bleeding the agency dry (though, yeah, he sorta found a million dollars to give pay boosts to himself and 69 of his very bestest managers, and kinda hid that from the public). But hey, none of that matters, because drivers and mechanics.
It's like the Barky administration in there: we gotta stop giving tours to kids because sequester.
This week, the latest is that they've ticked off a federal judge by playing hide-the-salami with evidence in a case in which they're defendants. One of their bus drivers made an illegal left turn and ran over five people; two of whom died. And when asked for documents during the discovery process, they decided that electronic documents must not count. So the judge clarified things for them: not only do electronic documents count, but Neil McFarlane, as head of the agency, now has to submit a sworn affadavit that all materials have been turned over.
In a court hearing last month, the judge also took TriMet officials to task for constantly grumbling about requests for evidence during the phase of the lawsuit known as discovery.
"I'd just say that if one of TriMet's buses takes a left turn and kills somebody, badly injures three others, then they probably should buckle up and expect some discovery without too much complaining," Mosman said, according to a court transcript.
McFarlane got off too easily. The weasel should be jailed. No offense intended to weasels, who are in no way culpable.