Senate Task Force Probes "Suspicious" DOT Overtime
By Dave Lucas
Albany, NY – A Senate Task Force is targeting what members call "suspicious overtime" at the New York State Department of Transportation. Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.
As New York State struggles to keep its fiscal head above water, the Senate's Task Force on Government Efficiency, led by Deputy Minority Leader Senator Jeff Klein, unveiled a recent tip that millions of dollars were going toward covering questionable overtime racked up by DOT employees. That information, submitted through the Task Force's "Whistleblower Website", was revealed prior to a scheduled afternoon public forum where DOT officials were to be "probed" on the matter.
Last month the task force released the third in a series of investigative reports citing hundreds of millions of dollars "wasted" by the DOT. Last year 152 of DOT's 155 motor vehicle inspectors earned a combined 1-point-2 million dollars in overtime. One inspector allegedly doubled his annual salary by regularly punching in several hours before his shift began. Shortly after release of the task force paper, the tip about the overtime came in. Klein says it's time to clamp down on abuse. Senator Diane Savino says in every agency they've looked at, the task force has found "a complete inability to manage overtime expenditures." She suggests implementing an agency-wide central system of time and leave management.