Allegations against ousted TARC boss cross state lines

Ferdinand Risco stepped down last week following claims of sexual harassment

Allegations against ousted TARC boss cross state lines
WAVE 3 News Troubleshooters learned allegations of sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment also were made by women who worked with Risco during his employment with MARTA, the public transit system in Atlanta. (Source: Steven Richard, WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The allegations against former TARC director Ferdinand Risco now cross state lines.

Risco stepped down as the TARC boss last week, just hours after WAVE 3 News uncovered allegations of sexual harassment.

Thursday, WAVE 3 News Troubleshooters learned allegations of sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment also were made by women who worked with Risco during his employment with MARTA, the public transit system in Atlanta.

“There’s information of multiple claims by different women who worked with (Risco) at MARTA,” Thomas Clay, the attorney representing the alleged Louisville victims, told WAVE 3 News. “The claims were dismissed by MARTA."

Clay said the new claims by the women in Atlanta show Risco had what he called a “pattern of behavior” from his time at MARTA. He also said the allegations are similar in nature to include crude behavior, sexual harassment and bullying. Those are the same types of allegations made by a group of women who worked with him at TARC.

Thursday’s news comes on the same night when Metro Council President David James and Councilman Anthony Piagentini joined forces to write up a resolution asking for an independent investigation into Risco’s behavior at TARC and his hiring by the city.

“It is incumbent upon us to understand the process and fix the process so this is eliminated and never happens again within this Metro Government,” Piagentini said at Thursday’s Metro Council meeting.

WAVE 3 News learned that MARTA also has been accused of failing to take seriously the complaints of sexual harassment by employees, and failing to investigate them.

In a recent federal lawsuit filed against the agency, attorneys claim MARTA violated an employee’s rights after she came forward against an employee for sexual harassment. The lawsuit does not mention Risco’s name specifically, but the documents state MARTA officials knew of the allegations and failed to take any reasonable or prompt action.

Similar stories against MARTA have been chronicled by the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The newspaper conducted an investigation that found MARTA rejected “almost all” sexual harassment claims during a three-year period, including part of Risco’s tenure at the agency.

A MARTA spokesperson told WAVE 3 Troubleshooters that Risco resigned from his position as the Director of Diversity and Inclusion, and was not under investigation for any allegations of misconduct.

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