Some Metro-North employees collected overtime pay for getting dressed for work and traveling to their jobs — tasks that should not have been logged as overtime, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a report today, the Journal News reported.
Metro-North and Long Island Railroad failed to properly monitor overtime hours that were paid with money from the federal stimulus package, DiNapoli charged.
“Federal money came to New York state to help improve our transportation network, and we must be good stewards of those funds,” DiNapoli said. “The (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) should take a harder look at wasteful spending and work to tighten up its operations.”
Metro-North didn’t keep accurate overtime hours, the audit said. In addition, Metro-North conductors were paid for an extra 2 hours and 40 minutes each day for changing their clothes, washing up for work and traveling to job sites, the audit said.
In a letter responding to the audit, Metro-North president Howard Permut defended how the federal funds were used, arguing that the overtime hours in question were related to the Tarrytown station improvement project. He said conductors logged overtime hours for safely directing trains around the work site, assignments that were longer than a standard 8-hour shift and required traveling to and from the site.
Here’s the report: