Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Federal Criminal Investigation of New York City Union Slowdown That Killed

Borrowed from the New York Post - Thank you
By JOSH MARGOLIN

"It's important that these unions be held accountable for their indiscretions. If they are allowed to get away with this atrocity, it would open the flood gates to mass union slowdowns that would eventually effect our new healthcare system, endangering millions of patients."
Nicholas Contompasis


The feds have launched a criminal probe into allegations — first reported by The Post — that city sanitation workers conspired to paralyze the Big Apple during last week’s blizzard with a potentially deadly job slowdown, authorities confirmed yesterday.
The feds "want to get to the bottom of the matter," said Steven Stites, spokesman for City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Queens), who has met with whistleblowers from the Sanitation and Transportation departments and huddled with a federal prosecutor yesterday.
The explosive investigation, led by the Brooklyn US Attorney's Office, is looking into whether Sanitation bosses plotted to thwart cleanup efforts in Brooklyn and Queens to protest budget and staff cuts by Mayor Bloomberg.
The probers also are looking at whether some workers defrauded taxpayers by padding their overtime pay, which could result in mail- or wire-fraud charges.
The Brooklyn and Queens district attorneys yesterday confirmed that they, too, are investigating the scandal.
Brooklyn prosecutors are specifically eyeing video posted on YouTube that appears to show sanitation crews relaxing for hours at a Dunkin' Donuts on Monday night of last week when they were supposed to be clearing streets.
The authorities must first determine whether any laws were broken, sources said. If so, they'd forward the case to an appropriate agency, which could be the FBI, the federal Department of Labor or others, the sources said.
Meanwhile, the city Medical Examiner's Office is investigating whether the blizzard was directly responsible for any deaths.
Late yesterday, a 3-month-old Queens boy was added to the list of possible snow-related victims.

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