Senator Glazer’s Statement on BART Inspector General Richardson’s Resignation
Harriet Richardson has been a stellar example of a public servant who works for the good of the people. The first-ever Inspector General for BART after the post was created in 2018, Harriet carried out her job with professionalism and an objective pursuit of the truth, no matter where it took her. She displayed tenacity and independence with an auditor’s green-eyeshade level of scrutiny, performing admirable work under adverse circumstances. Richardson’s resignation Monday as Inspector General for BART came after nearly four years protecting the traveling public by holding BART accountable. She found tens of millions of dollars in fraud, conflict of interest and wasteful financial practices.
Ms. Richardson carried out her work even when the BART Board and management were determined to undermine her investigations. They repeatedly refused to provide her office with the full power and authority that she requested to do her job. The Alameda County Grand Jury found that BART obstructed the independent watchdog. “From the beginning,” the grand jury report found, BART’s management, Board of Directors and labor unions “sought to undermine Inspector General Harriet Richardson’s role by limiting access to information and employees.”
Given the circumstances, it doesn’t surprise me that Ms. Richardson is departing before her term of appointment has ended. I wish her well in her future endeavors.