FTA Confirms Overreporting by the CTA

Cause of Action’s Investigation Into Potential Fraud With Federal Grant Money Exposes CTA & the Department of Transportation


WASHINGTON – In the wake of Cause of Action’s investigation into potential fraud at the Chicago Transit Authority, new facts have emerged confirming not only overreporting by the CTA, but knowledge by the Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration of the overreporting.

FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff sent a letter to CTA on April 27, 2012 stating that FTA had “conducted an in-depth review regarding the way in which Vehicle Revenue Miles (VRM)” were reported. The conclusion of this review was that “CTA should revise its data for the 2011 Report Year to reflect the definition of ‘revenue service’.”

Cause of Action’s Executive Director Dan Epstein issued the following statement in response:

“FTA’s letter highlights two very important facts. First, CTA was, as Cause of Action suspected, violating the reporting manual used to calculate VRM, thereby improperly receiving federal grant money.

But secondly, FTA is revealing that it had knowledge of overreporting occurring, and by conducting a review of only 2011, it ignored the 2007 report presented by auditor Thomas Rubin that showed the same potential actions happening in fiscal year 2006.

It appears an explanation for why FTA limited its review to one year, and failed to disclose its findings to Cause of Action following our expedited FOIA request, is that there is clearly a politically motivated cover-up happening at the Department of Transportation.

Cause of Action’s revealing investigation into opaqueness and poor stewardship of tax dollars only further raises the spectre of corruption at the same agency Cause of Action revealed to have had two officials violate the Hatch Act.  Just as no punishment occured when Kathleen Sebelius violated the Hatch Act, no punishment will occur with a CTA that defrauded the American taxpayers. Cause of Action exists to fight this kind of corruption and show the American taxpayers exactly what is happening to their money in the hands of corrupt politicians.”

This revelation by the FTA raises a number of questions that Cause of Action views as critical to the public interest:

  1. Why did FTA not act on Thomas Rubin’s 2007 report of this exact behavior by the CTA?
  2. When did DOT Inspector General Calvin Scovel decide to investigate the matter?
  3. Is there evidence to suggest that this same type of overreporting is happening at other transit authorities around the United States?
  4. Why hasn’t the FTA reported the CTA to the Department of Justice for a criminal investigation in light of their overreporting and potential years of defrauding American taxpayers?
  5. How does the President explain the Chicago connections of Secretary LaHood, Robert Rivkin, Valerie Jarrett and himself in light of this misuse of taxpayer dollars?

About Cause of Action:

Cause of Action is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that uses investigative, legal, and communications tools to educate the public on how government accountability and transparency protects taxpayer interests and economic opportunity. For more information, visit www.causeofaction.org