By Maria Saporta
MARTA has placed Ben Graham, its chief information officer and assistant general manager of information technology, on “administrative leave with pay,” according to a statement from the transit agency.
MARTA, responding to a question about the status of an investigation, said Graham’s administrative leave was “part of the ongoing audit and investigation of that department’s performance.”
It was disclosed in a story in April that MARTA had retained the auditing firm of KPMG LLP to conduct an internal investigation of possible misappropriation of assets in the operations that were headed by Graham. It is not clear when the KPMG investigation will be completed.
Meanwhile, MARTA said that Shyam Dunna, an independent contractor, will serve as MARTA’s chief information officer “to assist in the comprehensive assessment of MARTA’s Information Technology Department that is already underway,” according to the agency’s statement.
In the story, it was reported that Keith Parker, MARTA’s general manager, had engaged KPMG to conduct a forensic review of the operations of the information technology department. KPMG already had conducted an in-depth audit of MARTA’s operations and had made recommendations to the board on how it could save money on its operations.
One of the areas where MARTA did not score well was with its information technology functions.
Although Parker’s letter did not mention Graham by name, it was clear he was part of the investigation. In fact, Graham had previously been fired by MARTA on Jan. 11, 2002 when he was manager of network engineering in the IT department because of a violation of work rules. At the time, the termination record said that Graham should not be rehired by the department or MARTA.