This is the opinion of New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo after it was revealed that the pension agency received a complaint about potential fraud 5 years ago. Robert E. Kessler has more in his report for Newsday:
The government agency that oversees the LIRR pension system had a complaint about possible pension abuses as far back as 2003, but did not act, according to a letter from the New York State attorney general’s office.
In fact, one attorney for the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board replied to a whistle-blower that “the LIRR’s experience with disability is probably right in the ballpark with other railroads,” State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said Friday.
“We believe that the [railroad board] provided misleading information to the LIRR about this issue, thereby forestalling by years this inquiry,” Cuomo wrote in the letter.
LIRR management backed Cuomo’s position Friday. Joseph Calderone, an LIRR spokesman, issued a statement that said, “The LIRR raised this issue in 2003 with the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board, but it appears we were given misleading information by the board in response to our queries.”
Cuomo’s letter was not sent to the railroad retirement board directly, but rather to the inspector general’s office of the retirement board.
Click here for the complete report.
As with most articles on Newsday, this contained some responses from readers. The most interesting response came from “Carl” who said:
Attorney General Cuomo and also Newsday are both doing great jobs in uncovering all that is going on at the LIRR. No matter what the cost this should be continued to be looked at and the more the LIRR retirees dismiss it as “no bid deal”, the more it should be looked at for all the fraud and corruption that has been going on there for many years. Leave no stone unturned and prosecute where appropriate as all decent, honest and law abiding citizens want done.
They all have lawyers now but they did nothing wrong, all 98% of them.
I happen to agree with him that no stone should be left unturned in this investigation. While it will come at taxpayers expense, it is clear that their are much worse things that have received assistance from tax payer dollars. What are the chances that every single disability benefits case is legit especially when most are collecting for the same exact reasons? I say the chances of all of these claims being legitimate is slim to none. I also wouldn’t hire a lawyer if I knew I was completely innocent unless I had no choice to do so.
I truly think some of these retirees are worried that the gravy train is coming to an end & it is about damn time. Each & every person found to be guilty of fraud should be forced to pay back every cent collected & face federal jail time!
xoxo Transit Blogger