Report: MBTA whistleblower claims he was fired for raising safety concerns

Whistleblower claims he was fired by MBTA for raising safety concerns

A former top MBTA safety official says in a whistleblower complaint that he was fired by the T as he investigated numerous safety violations and was even urged to alter a report about a runaway train, according to a Boston Globe report.

Ron Nickle, the MBTA's former top safety official, wrote in a 97-page complaint to federal regulators and obtained by the Globe, that he was fired in March after eight years at the T as he investigated a number of incidents, including a worker's electrocution on the Orange Line, a Green Line derailment during the Patriots' Super Bowl parade, and was urged to alter a report on a 2015 runaway Red Line train.

Joe Pesaturo, an MBTA spokesperson, did not say why Nickle was fired, but told the Globe Nickle is misrepresenting events and the T will review the claims with federal regulators.

Content Continues Below

The Federal Transit Administration, which regulates public transit agencies, declined to confirm or deny to the Globe that it had received the complaint.

An MBTA spokesperson issued a statement on Monday morning regarding the complaint, saying:

"As part of the MBTA's unyielding commitment to safety, the Authority has made a number of changes, including hiring a new Chief Safety Officer, to ensure the T's Safety Department remains focused on its mission with the highest level of professionalism, expertise, thoroughness, and accuracy that its customers and employees expect. While the former employee's statement is replete with mischaracterizations and falsehoods, the MBTA, nonetheless, will review the former employee's unsubstantiated claims with its regulatory partners."