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VRE welcomes state probe of operations page 2
VRE supports employees in probe and says anonymous complaints have already been looked into. And it welcomes an audit, saying it is all about transparency.

Date published: 11/17/2012


Stimpson primarily based her concerns on a former VRE employee who had pleaded guilty to taking subcontractor kickbacks after he was snared in an FBI investigation.

"We already know there was a problem," she said. "Internal controls weren't working somewhere."

Stimpson added that she thinks VRE is a solid organization. The inquiry "is not an indictment of VRE at all," she said.

But she said an outside audit is the right thing to do.

Doug Allen, VRE's CEO, and spokesman Mark Roeber said that the issues raised in the governor's letter were thoroughly dealt with after the allegations were raised a year ago.

The VRE board's Chairman Wally Covington wrote a letter to McDonnell this week in which he explains how the VRE handled the situation.

In the letter, he says the board "took those unsubstantiated allegations seriously and conducted an examination as well as a forensic audit to make sure that all aspects were addressed."

State auditors from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation also looked into the issues.

Allen said those inquiries into the allegations found no wrongdoing.

He also said the current review is looking at VRE's organizational workings and not individual allegations.

Allen and Roeber believe the state's review will show that everything is fine at VRE.

The Mouchantafs, who Roeber said did not want to comment, still hold the same positions at VRE.

Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436
Email: sshenk@freelancestar.com

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In the past month, Gary Skinner, a Spotsylvania supervisor and Virginia Railway Express Operations Board member, has seen some real ups and downs in the progress of the new third track and station at Crossroads Business Park off the U.S. 17 Bypass.

It appears there has been haggling--among VRE, CSX and the county--about who will do what and how exactly things will be done.

After a few meetings, including one last week involving all of the decision-makers, Skinner seems comfortable that the project remains on track.

The way it shakes out is that the county will handle the parking-lot design and construction, VRE the station work and CSX the third track and signals.

"I don't have any concerns at this moment," Skinner said after the VRE board's meeting Thursday.

Skinner figures the county could wrap up work on the 1,500-space parking lot by August.

And he said the station is still on target to open in late 2013.