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Friday, December 18, 2009

MUNI Does The Seemingly Impossible -- Fires Driver

Posted By on Fri, Dec 18, 2009 at 11:23 AM

Idle on the job - PHOTO VIA FLICKR BY SKEW-T
  • photo via flickr by skew-t
  • Idle on the job

So naturally, when we learned about one MUNI driver who claimed she was fired earlier this year, we had to know why.

A longtime MUNI operator, Jeanette Molex, says she was fired from the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency in March after the empty train she was operating crashed. Molex is suing the agency for wrongful termination and racial and gender discrimination, according to San Francisco Superior Court records.

Molex's attorney did not return phone calls, but according to court records, Molex claimed on Aug. 4, 2008, she was driving an empty MUNI streetcar coasting toward Washington Street when the brakes failed. She says she tried to use the emergency brake, and she even attempted to reverse the car. Nothing worked, and the streetcar collided with the one in front of her.

According to the lawsuit, Molex "did everything in her power to stop and avoid an accident."  The agency apparently disagreed, calling the accident "avoidable." She was fired four days later.

Molex claims in the lawsuit that the agency did not properly investigate the break failure. She appealed her case and an independent arbitrator who recommended she not be fired, yet the agency followed through with her termination on  March 29, 2009, according to court records.

MUNI officials declined to comment on the case, saying they could not talk about ongoing litigation.

Although it's rare for MUNI drivers to get fired, there does seem to be the one exception -- crashing.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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