To the Editor: The Long Island Railroad overtime scandal should give us the opportunity to make an example out of the employees and retired employees who have been indicted for shameless and massive overtime fraud (receiving overtime pay when they were not working).
If found guilty, they should be required to pay back the unearned overtime (each of the five took home at least $344,000 in 2018, and one senior track worker took home $461,000 that year). The $344,000 is more than the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman and then-Governor Andrew Cuomo (who oversaw the MTA), were paid. In addition, they should receive heavy fines, have their pensions reduced dramatically, and also face prison time for their crimes (conspiracy and fraud).
Greed is human, but when it leads to criminal behavior, penalties are required. If supervisors facilitated or ignored the criminal overtime theft, they should have to pay a heavy price for the damage done to the agencies (MTA and its subsidiary, the LIRR) and the public. The overtime scandal contributed to the Grand Central/LIRR East Side Access Project being 13 years behind schedule and almost $7 billion over budget.
Prison time for the most-serious actors in this fraud would reassure the public and deter those who are tempted to steal from the public till with impunity.
MICHAEL J. GORMAN
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