OAKLAND (CBS/AP) – Longtime Bay Area Rapid Transit spokesman Linton Johnson has been removed from that position at the agency.

BART Board President Bob Franklin said this week that Johnson has been assigned to a new role and will develop large-scale communications strategies for major agency programs.

Johnson had come under fire after taking credit for an August decision to shut down cell phone service in BART stations. The goal was to hinder protests that began after the fatal shooting of a transient by BART police.

Johnson also reportedly tried to stock a news conference with supporters angry about the protests.

He declined to comment on his reassignment. Franklin said the move was not intended to punish Johnson, whom he credited with modernizing the agency’s communications department.

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