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.


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Comments [9]

Steven from Brooklyn

Goldman Sachs reaps record profits for pumping up securities and passing them off to customers knowing they will fail long after Goldman pockets the profits. Sanitation workers slow down to make more money in overtime the face of mass demotions. Sorry, but I think that's just fine. We get what we deserve as a city. My admiration goes out to the sanit men for learning how to chase the cash by watching and learning from the Masters of the Universe this city holds up as heroes and role models.

Jan. 10 2011 09:59 PM
Colleen Park Slope from Park Slope, Brooklyn

I went out to take pictures. I have images of a huge plow sitting with the driver inside...he waved and sat.
I witnesses several plow trucks with plows up and salt trucks not spreading their salt.
There was no real attempt to our streets.
Finally, by Tuesday afternoon, frustrated young men went out and shoveled the street by hand!

Jan. 05 2011 08:34 PM
Comment from Manhattan

When my husband asked a NYC cop why a car was allowed to turn in an incorrect land, cut off my husband's car, was stopped by the NYC cop and let go, the cop told my husband the guy was also a NYC cop and it is "professional courtesy."

Jan. 05 2011 07:06 PM

This was nothing compared with payroll fraud in Census 2010.

Jan. 05 2011 04:23 PM
bernie from bklyn

please investigate the bribery that was/is happening out here in south brooklyn...i saw at least a donzen incidents of people coming out when the plows finally came and with cash in hand, bribed them to "customize" their driveways or front of house area at the expense of properly plowing the block for the good of everyone.
the other commenter is right- heads need to roll. the people want to see some of these overpaid gorillas fired.

Jan. 05 2011 11:25 AM
rachel arkin

Now that the snow is plowed how about garbage pick up. There are mountains of grey trash bags all over the city.

Jan. 05 2011 08:53 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

Well, I've got something new for the Feds to investigate: this morning at about 7:40 a NYC salt/sand truck was salting Kings Highway between Ocean Avenue and Coney Island Avenue (Brooklyn).

Now that the City is under investigation for not handling cleanup for the last snowstorm properly, they are going to waste precious resources preparing for snow that isn't due for at least two days.

Someone needs to investigate the whole damn system and heads need to roll.

Jan. 05 2011 08:27 AM
Let's get real from New York

I worked in a union in the 1980s, and it was a common practice to slow down during the week to create the need for overtime on the weekends. Since I had no influence, I was one of the guys who slowed down, but I was never picked for the overtime. My understanding was that the work during the overtime period was even slower than the work performed while we were slowing down. The upshot of it all was I never earned more for doing less in my life.

Jan. 05 2011 07:59 AM
Chris from nyc

Between this and the scandal of the MTA fare hikes while the service is making a mockery of NYC. Even the fare booth and subway workers seem to be high or brain dead all the time now more than ever.

Jan. 04 2011 08:49 PM

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