LIRR Might Get Investigated For Manipulating Benefits

For many years the speculation has existed that longtime LIRR employees might have benefited from the manipulation of disability & pension benefits. However the speculation might turn factual if Gov. Patterson gets his way. He has chosen to give New York State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo the power to investigate the Long Island Rail Road for possible manipulation of disability & pension benefits. Danny Hakim of the New York Times has more in this report:

Gov. David A. Paterson said on Sunday that he would give Andrew M. Cuomo, the state’s attorney general, broad powers to investigate the Long Island Rail Road as part of a wide-ranging review his administration would seek of how disability and pension benefits were potentially manipulated by L.I.R.R. supervisors, workers and retirees.

The governor’s action comes after The New York Times reported that virtually every career employee of the railroad applies for and gets disability payments soon after retirement at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal disability money. The disability claims are paid by an obscure federal agency called the Railroad Retirement Board.

“To say that this is outrageous is probably an understatement,” Mr. Paterson said in an interview. “It’s one of the most surprising developments in my tenure as governor and even in my long service in government.”

The attorney general has limited criminal jurisdiction — criminal cases are more typically brought by district attorneys — but the governor has the authority under state law to empower the attorney general to investigate any indictable offense, with the discretion to empanel a grand jury and issue subpoenas.

Click here for the complete report.

I will have more on this at a later time. I will say one thing for now, get the popcorn ready as this drama will be good!

P.S. Kudos to Gov. Patterson for looking into ending any potential loopholes that cost honest people in the long run.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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