Right Thinking From The Left Coast
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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Sicking out of NYC

I’ve stayed away from this story for a few days, since it was based on somewhat nebulous reporting by the NY Post.  But now that it’s official, I’ll talk about it:

Federal prosecutors opened a criminal probe into allegations sanitation workers conspired to paralyze [New York City] in last week’s blizzard, sources said.

The investigation by the Brooklyn U.S. attorney’s public integrity unit was prompted by the claim by City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Queens) that guilt-racked workers told him a slowdown was ordered as vengeance for budget cuts and demotions.

If true, the feds could examine whether wire or mail fraud statutes were violated by workers pocketing overtime pay during an illegal job action, sources said.

The city Department of Investigation is also probing the allegations, and the Brooklyn and Queens district attorneys are reviewing the claims.

Joseph Mannion, head of the sanitation supervisors union, said he welcomed the city and federal probes as chances to clear his members’ names.

NYPo has been doing a lot of reporting on this and the allegations are disconcerting.  There was a massive increase in sick leave the day of the big New York bilzzard and specific allegations of sanitation workers sleeping or drinking on the job have been surfacing.  I have no idea if the allegations are true or not—I’ve been burned by this sort of wild rumor before.  But if these investigations turn up real evidence of an organized and illegal “sick out” that resulted in people dying from hypothermia and the inability of EMS to respond to calls, the organizers belong in prison.  A budget fight is absolutely no excuse for endangering people’s lives.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 01/05/11 at 09:50 AM in Politics   Law, & Economics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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