The MTA's ongoing problem with faked signal reports made its way to court today as the city charged Ilya Klyauzov, a 57-year-old Russian immigrant signal inspector, with three counts of tampering public records and one count of official misconduct. Not only did Klyauzov plead not guilty to all charges, he promised reporters outside of court that "we're going to beat this thing."

Klyauzov is the first, but not the last, MTA worker to be charged in the scandal in which signal inspectors are being charged with faking thousands of their reports instead of actually inspecting the track signals they are paid to inspect. In December investigators found a "cheat sheet" of signal barcodes in Klyauzov's locker (and not just in his) which he could scan rather than actually going into a tunnel and scanning the code off the actual signal.

"The defendant falsified the MTA's records in an attempt to save himself from necessary work," District Attorney Cy Vance said in a statement. "Crimes like these can lead to delays in service or far worse."

But Kyauzov's lawyer insists he is just being scapegoated, arguing "I think this was designed to throw off attention from the authority management who were responsible for what was going on with the workforce."

Further, he points out that the whole situation seems a little too convenient for the MTA: "This is an unusual move to arrest someone on what would usually be a disciplinary matter handled in house."

After court Kyauzov was released on his own recognizance.