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Two Caltrans workers fired from inspection unit had stolen gov construction materials, fed probe finds

By dcuff
Sunday, November 27th, 2011 at 11:27 am in Bay Area Toll Authority, Bay Bridge, Bridges, Caltrans, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Safety, seismic safety.

Just two weeks after disclosures that a Caltrans technician had falsified inspection data on agency construction projects, a federal report says that the worker and his boss stole goverment construction materials for a project at the supervisor’s personal property. The new report, disclosed by the Sacramento Bee, is fueling an East Bay lawmaker’s suspicions that there is a problem in the culture of a Caltrans section that does tests to assure the structural integrity of foundations of new bridges, walls and other projects. Click here for the Bee story about the federal report.

Caltrans’ top managers have said Duane Wiles, the technician who fabricated data,  did not falsify data he collected on the foundation for the new Bay Bridge – just three projects elsewhere. State lawmakers and Bay Area transportation officials are upset it took Caltrans nearly three years to fire Wiles after a whistle blower complained about the integrity of his test data.

The Bay Area Toll Authority,  a partner with Caltrans in overseeing construction of the new Bay Bridge, also is stewed that it didn’t find out until the last few weeks that the technician who fabricated data elsewhere had been assigned to do tests on the structural integrity of the foundation for the self anchored suspension span for the $6.3 billion new east span of the Bay Bridge.

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