WAMU 88.5 : News

Former Metro Executive Now Lobbying For Metro Contractor

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Emeka Moneme, shown here in 2008 while serving as director of D.C.'s Department of Transportation
Courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/waba/2511198017/
Emeka Moneme, shown here in 2008 while serving as director of D.C.'s Department of Transportation

Until last year, Emeka Moneme was Metro's chief administrative officer. He reported directly to the general manager.

But then in March, he left.

Now, Moneme's at a local lobbying firm, and he's working with the private company MV Transportation. It operates the MetroAccess transit service for people with disabilities.

MV is currently up for a two-year contract extension, worth more than $130 million. And, judging by a private email obtained by WAMU, Moneme's been using his insider connections within Metro to make sure the company gets it.

In the email, sent late last year, a representative from Moneme's office requests an in-person meeting with an adviser to Metro's board of directors. Moneme wants to meet because he wants to "discuss MV Transport and the MetroAccess program."

"Emeka's a good guy. I've known him for a while," transit industry veteran Steve Yaffe says. "[He] shouldn't have done it."

Yaffe used to work at Metro; he ran the MetroAccess service. Yaffe says Metro's ethics rules are supposed to prevent its executives from doing things like this.

"WMATA has a very strict rule, in that you can leave WMATA, you can go work for a contractor, that's not a problem," he says, "but you can't work on WMATA business."

A spokesperson with MV Transportation says the company hired Moneme to do community outreach, not to lobby his former co-workers.

Moneme refused to comment for this story.

Later this week, MV's contract extension is slated to come before the board of directors, and according to several sources within Metro, it's expected to be approved.

UPDATE: Metro's board has delayed extending MV's contract in light of recent reports that the company hired Moneme.

Email from Emeka Moneme's office
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