Last June, the biggest story on this blog was the free perks scandal that rocked the MTA Board. The scandal started with MTA Board Vice Chairman David S. Mack who said he only rode the Long Island Rail Road because it was free. Let me quickly refresh you on some of his statements from last June:
1. Why should I ride and inconvenience myself when I can ride in a car?
2. If you saw something and called it in, it goes right there (he refers to a trash can). When the normal public calls it in, you know what happens with the bureaucracy — they don’t get the response that a board member would get.
These comments helped start the revelation of just how much perks current & former MTA Board members had the chance to abuse. When this information became public knowledge, the outrage was shared by many from the public to New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo who threatened to sue MTA Board Members.
Eventually the MTA Board approved a measure to revoke the travel perks. They also called for the items to be turned in which some took forever to do. However it turns out a former MTA Board Member has continued to live off a perk, this time it being a police-issued parking permit. Former MTA Board Member Alan Friedberg continued to use his pass to illegally park his $76K Jaguar. New York Daily News transit reporter Pete Donohue along with Andew Theodorakis first exposed this in a report filed yesterday:
Alan Friedberg left the MTA board six years ago, but he’s still tooling around town in his snazzy red Jaguar with a police-issued parking permit.
Friedberg defied an order from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to return an MTA police-issued permit that lets him park just about anywhere.
On Sunday, Friedberg took full advantage of the perk – stowing the $76,000 luxury vehicle in a restricted zone on 43rd St. near Broadway theaters. His traveling party Sunday included his wife, wrapped in a full-length fur coat, and another couple.
“This vehicle is on official police business,” states the MTA Police Department placard displayed prominently inside the 2008 Jag.
Last year, the MTA directed 13 former board members, including Friedberg, 75, to return the coveted parking permits after Daily News reports on the perk. Two other past transit honchos have also not turned in their placards, MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said, declining to give their names.
Click here for the complete report.
Now a day later, Mr. Friedberg has officially turned his parking permit according to MTA Spokesman Kevin Ortiz. Once again New York Daily News transit reporter Pete Donohue has the scoop in this report:
Another perk bites the dust.
Former MTA board member Alan Friedberg surrendered his police-issued parking permit on Wednesday, the same day the Daily News reported that the Jaguar-driving developer was improperly using the priceless perk.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority last year told Friedberg and other former board members to return the coveted permits.
The placards bear the seal of the MTA Police Department and allow parking just about anywhere.
The News photographed Friedberg’s 2008 snazzy red car parked in a restricted midtown zone Sunday with the permit displayed on the windshield.
He returned the permit early yesterday afternoon, MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said.
Click here for the complete report.
I applaud Pete for once again exposing the wreckless abuse of power by some currently & formerly with the MTA. It is a shame that it takes public embarrassment for people such as David Mack or Mr. Jag himself Alan Friedberg to do what is right.
xoxo Transit Blogger