Ailsa Chang is an award-winning journalist who covers criminal justice, terrorism and the courts for WNYC. She found her way into public radio after practicing law for five years, and can definitely say that walking the streets of New York City with a microphone is a lot more fun than being holed up in the office writing letters to opposing counsel.
Feds Open Criminal Probe Into City's Snow Removal Efforts
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Federal prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation into allegations that city sanitation workers conspired to slow down clean-up efforts after the snow storm.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Brooklyn will not confirm or deny an investigation, but sources tell WNYC that prosecutors have been looking into whether sanitation workers deliberately delayed snow removal efforts and then collected on hours of overtime.
This is the latest report of a probe against sanitation workers since the city's paralyzing Dec. 26 blizzard. The New York City Department of Investigation started its own inquiry last week after Queens City Councilman Dan Halloran said sanitation workers told him their supervisors said to slow down snow plowing efforts.
Halloran's office collected stories about workers driving over streets with their snow plows raised in the air and never making contact with the road. Workers also allegedly rolled back and forth over streets that were already plowed.
Halloran -- who was interviewed by federal prosecutors last week -- said the investigations are gaining momentum. He said the District Attorney's office in both Queens and Brooklyn are investigating, too.
"That tells us one thing for sure -- that there are separate and distinct other people who have information related to those issues in Brooklyn that mirrors stuff that's happened in Queens," said Halloran.
Union officials for sanitation supervisors and Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty said there was been no wrongdoing by the crews.