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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Amtrak to provide House committee info on Weiderhold's retirement


Following last week's outcry by Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) that Amtrak provide information regarding the "unexpected" retirement of Inspector General Fred Weiderhold, two more congressmen are seeking the same info.

On Monday, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) and Ranking Minority Member Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) requested information on the recently announced retirement. The requests were prompted by a law firm report entitled "Report on Matters Impairing the Effectiveness and Independence of the Office of Inspector General" which indicates that Amtrak's policies and procedures have "systematically violated the spirit" of the Inspector General Act, according to Grassley. Weiderhold, who served the national intercity passenger railroad for 35 years, announced his retirement on June 18, the same day the report was issued.

However, Amtrak "did not have an opportunity to provide any input into the report," according to the national intercity passenger railroad. Amtrak also believes that "the circumstances surrounding Mr. Weiderhold's retirement are expected to demonstrate that there was no relationship between the timing of his retirement and this report," according to a prepared statement.

The railroad is in the process of responding to the oversight committee's request and will maintain an open line of communication to resolve the matter, Amtrak said.