A SFMTA investigation into Chronicle columnist C.W. Nevius's bizarre article detailing his Muni fare evasion and subsequent getting off scot-free was completed last week, and today we learn the results. It seems that Nevius was correct in his initial assessment that he was not given a ticket because the fare inspector recognized him as a reporter with the Chronicle.
Nevius's column detailing the incident and insulting that very inspector — initially calling the man who shamed him and then didn't write him a ticket "a supercilious jerk" — will mean agency-wide re-training at SFMTA. Also, it's safe to say that the fare inspector who gave Nevius a pass is in trouble.
"With regard to the fare evasion incident, upon receiving these reports, we interviewed the fare Inspectors involved in the incident and learned that they did dismiss the citation, because they knew Mr. Nevius was a columnist for the Chronicle," writes SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin in an email. "A dismissal for this cause is not acceptable and not consistent with our policies."
OK, so we now know that it isn't SFMTA official policy to dismiss fare evasion violations based on one's employer — but what about the fare inspector that was just trying to do Nevius a solid?
"I regret this error, but am grateful it was raised," continues Reiskin. "We have taken immediate corrective action and are implementing a re-training program for all staff. We are also reviewing procedures for citation issuance and rescission."
Our follow-up email to Reiskin inquiring as to what "corrective action" was taken (like, how much trouble is that fare inspector in) and what exactly "a re-training program for all staff" entails was unanswered as of this post.
As for Nevius, we reached out to him in an attempt to determine what he was trying to accomplish with his original story, or how he feels in light of the investigation's result, but he has not replied to our two emails. Regardless, Muni fare inspectors probably aren't feeling like fans of his any longer.