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LIRR President Helena Williams Out, MTA Names Replacement

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FILE -- Former LIRR President Helena Williams (credit: Getty Images)

FILE — Former LIRR President Helena Williams (credit: Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Long Island Rail Road‘s president was fired Wednesday and her successor was named.

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced the appointment of Patrick Nowakowski to replace Helena Williams. Nowakowski starts May 12.

Nowakowski has been executive director of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project. It’s building a 23-mile rail line to connect the airport with the Washington, D.C., Metro system.

Before that, he worked for more than 27 years with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.

Williams, who headed the nation’s largest commuter railroad since 2007, told Newsday she was “surprised” she was ousted.

“I am greatly disappointed,” she said. “This had been my dream job.”

The MTA did not give a reason why it replaced Williams.

The move comes as the MTA and unions representing LIRR workers have reached an impasse in labor negotiations. On Wednesday, MTA Chairman Tom Predergast said the agency is in talks with private bus companies to help out if drivers follow through with their threat to go on strike in July.

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