Carol Kissal, Metro Transit Authority CFO, resigns

(WJLA) - The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's chief financial officer and deputy general manager of administration is stepping down, the agency confirmed Wednesday.

Carol Dillon Kissal has been with WMATA for five years, after previously working for Amtrak.

Metro is in the midst of a major overhaul -- upgrading, repairing, and expanding a corroded and crumbling system. But it’s an expensive job.

An audit of expenditures between 2012 and 2013 found that Metro awarded millions in no-bid contracts, and didn’t stick to the contracting rules, steering work to a company that lacked the expertise for the job,

Kissal is packing up her things while customers prepare to dig deeper to pay for rides -- and the looming fare hikes amid a spending scandal is irking some passengers.

"It's hard for the general ridership to put up with the fare increases and see that kind of thing going on in the background," said Greenbelt resident, Shayna Skolnik.

Kissal found Metro’s finances in a state of chaos when she arrived five years ago. As she departs, Metro management maintains that corrective measures are in place. Still, that is little reassurance for battered riders – especially those dealing with major problems while work drags on.

" It delays everything you know," said Hyattsville resident Jennifer Darosa. "You are trying to get to work or you know, wherever you are trying get to on the weekend, and then to know that that has all happened -- it's very annoying."

In a statement Wednesday, WMATA officials said though Kissal's last official day will be May 16, her last day in the office will be this Thursday, April 17, due to taking family medical leave.

WMATA said Kissal is resigning "to take a job in the private sector," though many are questioning the timing. The Washington Post cites a report last month following a Federal Transportation Authority audit that questioned how billions in funds have been handled by Metro.

In Wednesday's statement, written by WMATA CEO Richard Sarles - whom Kissal also reportedly worked with at Amtrak - Sarles praised Kissal's work on automated systems such as parking and SmarTrip card payments, saying Kissal "laid the groundwork for the next generation" of automated payment systems, and brought convenience to millions of riders.

Sarles said beginning Thursday, Deputy CFO Blair Fishburn will serve as acting CFO until Kissal's replacement is named.