MARTA places chief information officer on administrative leave

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.

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

5 replies
  1. ScottNAtlanta says:

    Then I think the question should be why in the heck was he hired back and by whom.  That person or persons should be fired as well as Graham…not “paid leave”.  Well at least Parker is doing something to clean up the messes left for him…he’ll be busy for sureReport

    Reply
      • ScottNAtlanta says:

        mariasaporta ScottNAtlanta You sure did…and now I remember having read it.  The positive here is that Mr Parker has brought his A game here.  He wasted no time in taking care of this.  It looks as if none of the original players are involved anymore…a good thing as I see it.Report

        Reply
  2. Citizen Concern says:

    What about Shyam Dunna , who was let go ten years ago from MARTA as CIO? why is he brought back?
    Also he has been cited in an Audit in WAMATA for misappropriation. 
    Can MARTA not find any good people. it is a Shame . Going from Bad to worse.
    Please investigateReport

    Reply

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