September 28, 2010

Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) police officers alleged to have participated in a “double dipping” scheme

Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) police officers alleged to have participated in a “double dipping” scheme
Source: Office of the State Comptroller

An audit report released on September 27, 2010 by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli's Division of State Government Accountability alleges that “Numerous Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) police officers systematically abandoned their assigned duty posts to go to work at other jobs while being paid by the authority, a practice that was condoned and participated in by high-ranking officers.”

According to the report, 11 NFTA officers practiced “double dipping” over a three-year period by “cheating the public out of a full-day’s work.” In what the report termed an “egregious” example, one NFTA officer claimed he worked 26 hours during a single day.

Division of State Government Accountability auditors found that NFTA officers worked for other employers “while being signed in for their regular scheduled shifts with the Transportation Authority.” Some of the officers, said the auditors, “signed in for overtime” with the Authority while “on the clock as security officers” with another Erie County agency.

NFTA officials were advised that the Division of State Government Accountability referred its findings to the "Office of the State Comptroller’s Division of Investigations for referral to law enforcement for possible criminal prosecution."

The Comptroller’s retirement division is following up on the audit’s findings to make certain that the officers involved “only receive credit for the service and earnings to which they are entitled.”

The Division of State Government Accountability's complete audit [Report 2010-S-26] is posted on the Internet at http://www.osc.state.ny.us/audits/allaudits/093010/10s26.pdf and includes a letter dated September 13, 2010 describing a number "enhanced internal controls" that NFTA has implemented.

N.B. The Comptroller encourages the public to help fight against fraud and abuse. Allegations of fraud, corruption and abuse of taxpayer money may be reported by calling the toll-free fraud hotline at 1-888-672-4555; filing a complaint online at investigations@osc.state.ny.us , or mailing a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller Investigations Unit, 110 State Street, 14th floor, Albany, NY 12236.
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