In what is a highly disturbing story if true, 10 MTA workers have been charged with allegedly filing false reports. The false reports were for completed or supervised safety inspections. Ted Mann of the Wall Street Journal has more:
Prosecutors charged 10 Metropolitan Transit Authority employees with falsifying reports to suggest they had completed or supervised safety inspections in the New York subway system, District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said Monday.
The arrests stemmed from an investigation of eight of the MTA’s signal maintainers and two supervisors, who are accused of falsely reporting that they had inspected safety equipment in the subways.
All 10 were charged with first-degree tampering with records, a felony. The two supervisors and one of the signal maintainers were also charged with official misconduct.
The false inspection reports didn’t endanger any passengers in the subway, because of the system’s design, prosecutors said in a statement.
Prosecutors said the maintainers had scanned bar codes that are normally affixed to signal equipment installed in subway tunnels to show that the equipment had been checked. But in the alleged scheme, the bar codes were stored in one employee’s locker, not on the signals themselves, prosecutors said.
In a statement, Transport Workers Union Local 100 leaders said the signal workers were made “scapegoats” for the failures of their MTA managers, and said the union will pay the eight maintainers’ legal expenses.. “During the period of this investigation, our members were under tremendous management pressure to maintain 100 percent performance of what management knew was an impossible performance goal,” the statement said. “Our Signal Maintainers gained no financial benefit, or advantage of any kind by completing these unrealistic workloads, and submitting the reports demanded by management.”
MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz called the TWU’s allegations against management “utter nonsense” and said the union “has failed to offer the slightest bit of evidence to the public or to prosecutors to back up its claims.”
Click here for the complete report.
This report had me absolutely fuming. While the prosecutors claim passengers were never in danger, how can we really be 100% sure of that? Let’s face it, a lot of the infrastructure is outdated & it does not help that some workers allegedly faked inspections of it.
The Transport Workers Union Local 100 response sure opened Pandora’s box as are their claims of impossible metrics true? If so, does that justify the alleged actions of their members? My answer to that is no as even if it is true, bad management is not an excuse to potentially endanger the lives of others. I will keep an eye on this story in the coming weeks.
xoxo Transit Blogger