UPDATE: “Who’s in charge of Metro’s safety upgrades?” Local Editorial, Nov. 5

Guess who else is back at Metro besides former assistant chief engineer Harry Heilmann, who retired in the wake of last year’s fatal Red Line crash, but quietly returned to Metro as a consultant?

WTOP reports that former general manager John Catoe, who abruptly announced his retirement in April, is now working for MV Transportation Inc. – which operates MetroAcess paratransit service – and providing Metro with “strategic consulting services.”

Catoe was in charge of Metro at the time of the June 22, 2009 crash that killed nine people and injured dozens more – the deadliest accident in the transit agency’s history. Heilmann was a top member of the engineering team that maintained the computerized track circuits whose failure caused the fatal crash.

The accident, which happened on their watch, appeared to end both men’s careers. But thanks to the transit agency’s revolving back door, both are now back on the Metro payroll as “outside” consultants.

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