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Statement from the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority Regarding the Personnel History of Samuel Cassidy

The horrific attack at VTA’s light rail yard on May 26, in which nine VTA employees were killed, prompted questions about the personnel history of the shooter, Samuel Cassidy, a 20-year VTA employee.

VTA is examining Cassidy’s personnel file and related documents in an attempt to determine whether his personnel history can shed any light on this unimaginable attack on our VTA family.

In cooperation with the criminal investigation, and in accordance with the California Public Records Act, VTA is reviewing a large volume of documents, including those related to Cassidy’s disciplinary history and behavior. The most pertinent information related to our quest to provide answers to this senseless tragedy is being made available at this time. As VTA continues reviewing documents, if more relevant information is discovered, it will also be released.

So far, there is no indication of records in Cassidy’s VTA personnel file of any formal discipline for threatening behavior or violence during his 20-year career at VTA.

An initial review of relevant documents found there were four separate incidents involving Cassidy that were elevated to management. These resulted in disciplinary actions that ranged from a verbal warning to a two-day leave without pay. 


  1. July 16, 2019: Insubordination. Cassidy was sent home without pay for two days, as a result of refusing to follow company policy in signing out a two-way radio that was necessary to perform his job.
  2. January 29, 2020: A verbal altercation between Cassidy and a coworker was reported to VTA Employee Relations and the VTA Office of Civil Rights. Upon questioning from a supervisor, a coworker reported that another unnamed employee stated of Cassidy “He scares me. If someone was to go postal, it’d be him.”  The individual refused to name the source of that comment. Upon further investigation, there was nothing in Cassidy’s disciplinary history, or additional information to explain or support that concern. The matter was referred back to Cassidy’s department manager. VTA is continuing to research this incident to see if there is any other relevant documentation to review and release.
  3. October 21, 2020: Cassidy refused to attend a mandatory CPR recertification class citing his concern about the threat of COVID. A number of reasonable accommodations were provided to the employee with no ultimate resolution.
  4. November 28, 2020. Unexcused leave and improper radio communication. After having trouble clocking in for a work shift, Cassidy inappropriately used a VTA two-way radio for personal communication, rather than for operational matters, which is against VTA policy. He left work without permission instead of resolving the problem.

Throughout this initial search, no documentation or history of complaints of Cassidy making racist or threatening remarks towards his colleagues has surfaced. Furthermore, no records have been located about information regarding Cassidy being provided by any federal agency (including the Department of Homeland Security) at any time.

Based on requests for public records, there are thousands of pages of documents that include emails, attachments, and other materials that still require review. VTA is committed to providing these documents as soon as is practical, but notes an obligation to protect the confidentiality of employees, vendors, and other people who are not involved in this incident in any way.

VTA will not make further statements at this time. We again ask the media to respect the privacy of VTA employees in this time of tremendous grief.


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