– After an emergency board meeting that became very heated on Friday, MTA CEO and Chairman Patrick Foye said an independent monitor will be assigned to investigate allegations of overtime abuse.

Foye called the meeting in response to the backlash the agency has received over excessive amounts of overtime. At the heated meeting, he said most overtime hours are legitimate but that a fraction of overtime is apparently fraudulent and an abuse of the system.

“I support the MTA proceeding with retaining special counsel to conduct an investigation of the timekeeping and attendance systems of the MTA and overtime abuse,” Foye said in a statement. “We owe the taxpayers and our customers an explanation of how some have abused the system and ensure it never happens again.”

Last month, a watchdog group called Empire Center for Public Policy released a report after examining MTA payroll data. The report found that the MTA spent more than $1 billion in overtime in 2018, up $100 million from the prior year.

Tim Hoefer, the Empire Center’s executive director, said the problem isn’t about one or two people submitting phony timesheets. He said the problem is that the MTA has agreed to “bad labor deals.”

But John Samuelsen, an MTA board member and president of TWO Local 100, called the allegations of overtime fraud and abuse “baseless.” He said some workers amass a lot of overtime because of the projects the agency has fast-tracked.

© 2019 Fox 5 NY


You may also like

Faced with $10B deficit, MTA says it’s eyeing cutting overtime spending

Alfonso Castillo The financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is adding urgency to the agency’s efforts to curtail overtime numbers that critics say remain alarmingly high. The MTA said at Wed Read More

Comptroller warns of financial distress at the MTA, and the MTA goes on a hiring spree

According to Ken Girardin, a labor analyst at the right-leaning Empire Center for Public Policy, every new police officer will cost the MTA roughly $56,000, which means the new personnel would initially cost the MTA roughly $28 million a year. Those costs should rapidly increase over time, as police salaries rapidly increase. Read More

LIRR union chief blames OT on inadequate staffing levels, increased workload

“That’s one heck of an incentive,” said E.J. McMahon, research director for the Empire Center for Public Policy, the organization that publicized the MTA’s alarmingly high overtime rate in an April MTA payroll report. Read More

MTA, LIRR union relationship worse than ever; up next is collective bargaining

The MTA’s heightened focus on overtime follows an April financial report from the Empire Center for Public Policy that revealed alarmingly high overtime rates among some MTA employees, including former LIRR chief measurement officer Thomas Caputo, who made $344,147 in overtime on top of his base salary of $117,499. Read More

EDITORIAL: The MTA’s culture of fraud

Raymond Murphy, a foreman with the LIRR’s Buildings and Bridges department, was one of the MTA’s top earners in 2017, pulling in $405,021, including $295,490 in OT, according to data compiled by the government watchdog Empire Center. Read More

MTA worker on family and medical leave got married, coached baseball instead: watchdog

DeLeon — who began at the MTA in 2007 and earned $44,754, according to the Empire Center — was fired by the agency. But he still kept his pension, according to sources close to the investigation. Read More

Top MTA cop busted blowing off work, using cruiser for suspected funeral gig: report

The cop — who earned $240,926 that year, according to the Empire Center — was then busted using his cruiser to make 14 visits in eight weeks to funeral homes on Staten Island, where investigators suspected he was moonlighting. Read More

LIRR overtime ‘cheat’ hung out at home on the clock, retired with full pension anyway

Murphy was one of the top earners in the whole MTA in 2017 — making a jaw-dropping $405,021, with $295,490 coming from overtime, according to data from government watchdog group the Empire Center. Read More