Four Connecticut Metro-North employees arrested in testing scandal

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NEW YORK – Four Connecticut residents were among 13 employees of Metro-North who were arrested in connection with a scheme to distribute details of a licensing exam.

On Monday, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. announced that Anthony Carbone, 56, of North Haven was charged with three counts of Impairing the Integrity of a Government Licensing Examination. Joseph Fowler, 31 of West Haven, was charged with six counts of the same crime. Sean Macauley, 39 of Northford, was charged with two counts, and Coltyn Reindel, 25, of North Haven was charged with one count of the same crime.

Melanie Bannister, Bernice Bell, Danielle Bonge, Omar Carrillo, Dennis Degenfelder, Donald Finnerty, Raymond Fuentes, Patrick Jones, and John Twardy, all of New York, were charged varying numbers of counts of the same crime.

Bannister, Bell, Carillo, Degenfelder, Fowler, Jones, Macauley, Twardy and Finnerty are accused of emailing pictures of three different tests and the answers to conductor candidates. Bannister was charged with 18 counts of impairing the integrity of a government licensing exam; Bell, Carrillo and Finnerty are charged with two counts; and Twardy is charged with four counts.

Bonge, Carbone and Reindel are charged with distributing copies of the three tests to other locomotive engineer candidates. Bonge and Carbone with three counts of impairing the integrity of a government licensing exam;  Fowler with six counts; Degenfelder with eight counts; Riendel with one count.

Fuentes, an engineer candidate, allegedly emailed pictures of completed answer sheets to an engineer who hadn’t completed the tests as part of his three-year re-certification process, which is required of all locomotive engineers. He was charged with two counts of impairing the integrity of a government licensing exam.

In all, eight tests were wrongfully distributed at Grand Central between November 2011 and May 2014.

Metropolitan Transit Authority said in a statement, they first became aware of these allegations a year ago,  and the MTA Police Department and the MTA Inspector General conducted an investigation. Metro North disbanded one class of conductor trainees and re-tested and extended the training of other conductor and locomotive engineer trainees as a response to the allegations.